Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cheap Catalyst for Splitting Water



Hydrogen would command a key role in future renewable energy technologies, experts agree, if a relatively cheap, efficient and carbon-neutral means of producing it can be developed. An important step towards this elusive goal has been taken by a team of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley. The team has discovered an inexpensive metal catalyst that can effectively generate hydrogen gas from water.


Hydrogen gas, whether combusted or used in fuel cells to generate electricity, emits only water vapor as an exhaust product, which is why this nation would already be rolling towards a hydrogen economy if only there were hydrogen wells to tap. However, hydrogen gas does not occur naturally and has to be produced. Most of the hydrogen gas in the United States today comes from natural gas, a fossil fuel. While inexpensive, this technique adds huge volumes of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Hydrogen can also be produced through the electrolysis of water -- using electricity to split molecules of water into molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. This is an environmentally clean and sustainable method of production -- especially if the electricity is generated via a renewable technology such as solar or wind -- but requires a water-splitting catalyst.

The technology is coming to change the world and free us from oil dependence...




The world is filled with positive energy and technology. Enjoy the blog...

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