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Hydrogen Energy Breakthroughs August 1, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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castanyes blaves: Better catalysts for energy storage
What’s needed are catalysts capable of taking electricity and using it to split water to generate hydrogen gas, a clean fuel. Unfortunately, the catalysts discovered so far work under harsh chemical conditions, and the best ones are made from platinum, a rare and expensive metal.

No more. This week, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge led by chemist Daniel Nocera report online in Science a new water-splitting catalyst that works under environmentally friendly conditions (www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1162018). More important, it’s made from cobalt and phosphorus, fairly cheap and abundant elements. The new catalyst needs improvements before it can solve the world’s energy problems, but several outside researchers say it’s a crucial development.

other groups report related advances–a cheap plastic fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen to electricity, and a solid oxide fuel cell catalyst that operates at lower temperatures–that affect another vital component of any future solar hydrogen system.

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