Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Energy News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



ENERGY TECH
Cobalt and tungsten the key to cheaper, cleaner hydrogen
by Staff Writers
Tarragona, Spain (SPX) Nov 01, 2017


The new catalyst 'splits' water molecules to obtain hydrogen and oxygen with very low voltages.

Electrolysis, splitting the water molecule with electricity, is the cleanest way to obtain hydrogen, a clean and renewable fuel. Now, researchers at ICIQ and URV, led by Prof. Jose Ramon Galan-Mascaros, designed a new catalyst that reduces the cost of electrolytic hydrogen production. Catalysts reduce the amount of electricity needed to break the chemical bonds, speed up the reaction and minimise the energy waste.

'Normally, hydrogen is obtained from using a cheap process called steam reforming. But this is not clean hydrogen, this process uses natural gas and produces carbon dioxide and other contaminants,' explains Galan-Mascaros.

'Breaking the water molecule is cleaner, but it's not easy. We need to develop new cheap, efficient catalysts that allow us to obtain hydrogen at a competitive price,' he says. To date, the best catalysts are based in iridium oxides, but iridium is a very expensive and scarce precious metal.

Chemists at ICIQ and URV discovered a compound made of cobalt and tungsten -technically called a polyoxometalate- which can catalyse water splitting better than iridium.

'Polyoxometalates are nanometric molecular oxides that combine the best of two worlds, the great activity of oxides and the versatility of molecules,' explains Marta Blasco-Ahicart, postdoctoral researcher at ICIQ and first author of the Nature Chemistry paper.

'Our polyoxometalates are way cheaper than iridium and allow us to work in acidic media, the optimal media to generate oxygen that is normally a drawback for catalysts, which are usually consumed by the acid,' clarifies Blasco-Ahicart.

Joaquin Soriano, co-author of the paper and currently a postdoctoral researcher at Trinity College in Dublin, explains that 'our catalysts work specially well when we work with low voltajes.'

'That may seem an issue' -he explains- 'but is rather an advantage, it saves electricity and will allow us, soon, to obtain the energy required for water splitting from renewable sources like solar panels.'

Moreover, researchers present in their paper an additional discovery. Supporting the catalysts in a partially hydrophobic -water repellent- material, the efficiency of the process improves. This generates a 'waterproof' reactor where electrolysis advances quicker, and also enhances the lifetime of catalysts.

The new methodology not only improves the performance of the new cobalt-tungsten polyoxometalates, but also with a lot of different catalytic systems. Nowadays, researchers are investigating new ways of taking advantage of this new finding, developing new hydrophobic scaffolds to further boost the efficiency of water splitting, a fundamental step towards the evolution of artificial photosynthesis.

Research paper

ENERGY TECH
Protein can be switched on to conduct electricity like a metal
Tempe AZ (SPX) Oct 31, 2017
When pushing the boundaries of discovery, sometimes even the most experienced of scientists can get a surprise jolt from a completely unpredictable result. That was the case for ASU Regents' Professor and biophysicist Stuart Lindsay, who has spent his career building new microscopes that have become the eyes of nanotechnology and next-generation, rapid and low-cost DNA and amino acid reade ... read more

Related Links
Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

ENERGY TECH
Japan faces challenges in cutting CO2, Moody's finds

IEA: An electrified world would cost $31B per year to achieve

'Fuel-secure' steps in Washington counterintuitive, green group says

SLAC-led project will use AI to prevent or minimize electric grid failures

ENERGY TECH
Plastic and metal-organic frameworks partner for sensing and storage

UNIST researchers introduce novel catalyst for rechargeable metal-air batteries

Protein can be switched on to conduct electricity like a metal

Scientists get first close-ups of finger-like growths that trigger battery fires

ENERGY TECH
New York sets high bar for wind energy

Construction to begin on $160 million Industry Leading Hybrid Renewable Energy Project

A kite that might fly

Scotland outreach to Canada yields wind energy investment

ENERGY TECH
Fitch: U.S. decision on Paris doesn't matter for renewable growth

Oil-rich Alberta adding more solar components

UNIST researchers develop highly stable perovskite solar cells

New fractal-like concentrating solar power receivers are better at absorbing sunlight

ENERGY TECH
South Korea to push ahead with nuclear power plants

AREVA NP awarded contract for safety upgrades in seven reactors

AREVA NP installs a system allowing flexible electricity generation at Goesgen nuclear power plant

Dessel: a new step forward with the dismantling of the site

ENERGY TECH
Expanding Brazilian sugarcane could dent global CO2 emissions

Stiff fibers spun from slime

Converting carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide using water, electricity

Separating methane and CO2 will become more efficient

ENERGY TECH
Iraq adds capacity to oil export terminal

Exxon earning and spending more

Upbeat producer sentiment offset GDP to push oil prices lower

China oil majors' profits up on firm demand

ENERGY TECH
A drier south: Europe's drought trends match climate change projections

Carbon dioxide levels lower than thought during super greenhouse period

Study reshapes understanding of climate change's impact on early societies

IMF chief warns of 'dark future' over climate change




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement