Mechanistic implications of the solvent kinetic isotope effect in the hydrolysis of NaBH4

Alina Sermiagin, Dan Meyerstein, Gifty Sara Rolly, Totan Mondal, Haya Kornweitz, Tomer Zidki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The sodium borohydride, NaBH4, hydrolysis mechanism is studied via the H2O/D2O kinetic isotope effect (KIE). This reaction is of importance as NaBH4 is considered as a hydrogen storage material. Nowadays, hydrogen is thought to be one of the most promising and efficient clean energy carriers. In order to control the rate of the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), one has to understand the mechanism of its production. The H2O/D2O KIE of the reactions of NaBH4 and NaBD4 with water was studied in solutions containing a ratio of H2O/D2O = 1.00. The separation factor, α, of both reactions is α = 5.0 ± 1.0. The rate of the hydrolysis of BD4 in H2O is faster than that of BH4. The results point out that the rate-determining step in all hydrolysis stages is the H–OH bond scission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3972-3979
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 19 Jan 2022


  • Borohydride hydrolysis
  • Hydrogen evolution
  • Isotopic labelling
  • Kinetic isotope effect (KIE)
  • Mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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