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Tiny Bubbles

In what some are calling a major breakthrough for renewable energy, MIT chemists Daniel Nocera and Matthew Kanan discover a new catalyst that speeds up the splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen. The discovery may heighten interest in pollution-free fuel cell vehicles, which generate energy by combining hydrogen and oxygen chemically, emitting only water. The catalyst, made from cheap materials and working in ordinary water, may also make it easier to convert sunlight into chemical fuels, storing solar energy in much the way plants do.

From Chemical Explorers, Moreno/Lyons Productions

Comments (7)

Inspiring!! The grant should be $500 million to develop this into a full fledged system. A pittance in relation to the wasted dollars now being invested in clean coal technology. Clean coal, an oxymoron if if ever there was one uttered by sane men.

Posted 9 years by Anonymous

If the instructor from MIT reads these. Add an electrolytic catalyst to speed up the electrolysis process and see how that works with your sludge plated glass.

Posted 9 years by Anonymous

It certainly would be money well spent to develop a working prototype of the complete “off grid” solution since there is much work to be done with each of the steps. Why not include an engineering team, an architecture team, material science team, systems team, etc. In other words, will it scale when applied to an end-user community model?

This is the kind of basic research and science that can inspire students everywhere. Kudos to MIT and Nocera for their efforts. And to their sponsors. Very noble cause!

Posted 9 years by Anonymous

Very encouraging, however water vapor is a greenhouse gas.

Posted 9 years by Anonymous

Condense it again and you have your fuel

Posted 9 years by Anonymous

Add in some trace Iridium and Rhodium with the Cobalt and Phosphate too perhaps? A little lye to increase the amperage and speed of the reaction? or some other amp-increasing catalyst.
Add an engines vacuum pressure to the top of the chamber to see if it pulls more out of solution to avoid recombining of the high energy H2 and O (O2) molecules?

Water vapor is a greenhouse gas yes,,, but you can run it through a condenser very easily so you don’t emit water vapor at all, then reuse the water in the engine,and it wouldn’t surprise me that the vapor could be used in a similar system with higher efficiency than when using water. For instance the vapor could move through a tube that has the plating in a nano honeycomb , and the tube could be pretty small diameter. I’m imagining the pressured output of a hydrogen car’s exhaust going through a couple inch diameter pipe that is filled with a cheap and effective nano aligned electrolysis cell. If not nano sized then at least built to allow for the vapor or steam state of the water.

There’s no time like the present to take advantage of this before Exxon starts buying up the technology like they are buying lithium thin film technology. Exxon and pals would likely try to corner the market on Cobalt. They’ve been trying to corner the market on lithium battery thin film technology for at least ten years. Good job MIT!

If you keep in mind that hydrogen makes one hell of an explosion in the presence of the O2 liberated in the reaction, and do your work outdoors, you can work with this as long as you intentionally limit the amperage to the cell. You do that by keeping the electrode surface area small and don’t use much lye or other amperage increasing catalyst. Doing this indoors would be pretty crazy except on the scale shown in the movie. Face shield and ear protection too.

Hey Uber Fuhrer Bush, print some money for alternative energy instead of the wall street banking crooks. As we fight yet another war to ensure your supporters profit from oil you’ve kept alternative energy spending at below Clinton levels and at half the level under Carter.! Is Jesus still telling you to take good care of the oil companies? See the documentary, “Who Killed the Electric Car”. Amazon for about $12. It details a lithium ion battery powered car in California in the late 90’s that was fast, clean, and got 120 miles on a charge. GM fought the rule that made them build such a vehicle in California, in the end they sold the battery to Texaco. After they beat the rule, they shredded all the cars they had leased out, they wouldn’t sell any of them, only lease. With today’s batteries it would go 300 miles on a charge, and charge in much less than an hour with a dedicated edison drop. Solar could feed it well,and instead of building gas electric hybrids right now we’d be building hydrogen/electric hybrids with BOTH the hydrogen and electricity harvested from solar panels!!!!!!!!

Northwood, Ohio

Posted 9 years by Anonymous

Yes ,

You guys are getting pretty quite???
Ingredients are plentiful, but not readily availible, where can I get them, and what are chemical names ?
also , Can the plating matrix you put together,use other metals in the family also?
Gary Langwell

Posted almost 9 years by Anonymous

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MIT News

Category: News | Updated over 6 years ago

August 12, 2008 11:52
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