Technique efficiently generates hydrogen from water
Washington State University researchers have found a way to more efficiently generate hydrogen from water - an important key to making clean energy more viable.
Using inexpensive nickel and iron, the researchers developed a very simple, five-minute method to create large amounts of a high-quality catalyst required for the chemical reaction to split water.
They describe their method in the February issue of the journal Nano Energy.
Energy conversion and storage is a key to the clean energy economy. Because solar and wind sources produce power only intermittently, there is a critical need for ways to store and save the electricity they create. One of the most promising ideas for storing renewable energy is to use the excess electricity generated from renewables to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen has myriad uses in industry and could be used to power hydrogen fuel-cell cars.
Industries have not widely used the water splitting process, however, because of the prohibitive cost of the precious metal catalysts that are required - usually platinum or ruthenium. Many of the methods to split water also require too much energy, or the required catalyst materials break down too quickly.
In their work, the researchers, led by professor Yuehe Lin in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, used two abundantly available and cheap metals to create a porous nanofoam that worked better than most catalysts that currently are used, including those made from the precious metals.
The catalyst they created looks like a tiny sponge. With its unique atomic structure and many exposed surfaces throughout the material, the nanofoam can catalyze the important reaction with less energy than other catalysts. The catalyst showed very little loss in activity in a 12-hour stability test.
"We took a very simple approach that could be used easily in large-scale production," said Shaofang Fu, a WSU Ph.D. student who synthesized the catalyst and did most of the activity testing.
The WSU researchers collaborated on the project with researchers at Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
"The advanced materials characterization facility at the national laboratories provided the deep understanding of the composition and structures of the catalysts," said Junhua Song, another WSU Ph.D. student who worked on the catalyst characterization.
The researchers are now seeking additional support to scale up their work for large-scale testing.
"This is just lab-scale testing, but this is very promising," said Lin.
The collaborative work was funded by a WSU startup grant and by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Yuehe Lin | EurekAlert!
First-ever visualizations of electrical gating effects on electronic structure
18.07.2019 | University of Warwick
New safer, inexpensive way to propel small satellites
16.07.2019 | Purdue University
Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.
In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...
Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.
Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...
Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.
Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...
For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.
Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...
An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".
The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
22.07.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
22.07.2019 | Life Sciences
22.07.2019 | Earth Sciences