|Scientists from the University of Houston have found a new way to split
water into hydrogen and oxygen that's cheap and effective - and it may
lead to an abundance of clean hydrogen fuel in the future.
Hydrogen is a big source for clean energy, but the challenge is making
enough of it to be efficient and practical price. A newly developed
catalyst now reportedly addresses both issues, boasting more efficiency
for a lower cost than existing solutions.
To split water into hydrogen and oxygen, two reactions are needed - one
for each element. The main issue has been getting an efficient catalyst
for the oxygen part of the equation. The new catalyst is made up of a
ferrous metaphosphate and a conductive nickel foam platform, a
combination of materials the team says is more efficient and less
expensive than existing solutions. It can also operate for more than 20
hours and 10,000 cycles without a hitch.
Using the new method means hydrogen can be produced without creating
waste carbon. And until now, oxygen reactions have often relied on
electrocatalysts that use iridium, platinum, or ruthenium - 'noble'
metals that are difficult and expensive to source. Nickel, in contrast,
is more abundant and so easier and cheaper to get.