Skip to comments.Splitting Water for Renewable Energy Simpler Than First Thought? Manganese-Based Catalyst...
Posted on 05/18/2011 11:03:16 AM PDT by Red Badger
An international team, of scientists, led by a team at Monash University has found the key to the hydrogen economy could come from a very simple mineral, commonly seen as a black stain on rocks.
Their findings, developed with the assistance of researchers at UC Davis in the USA and using the facilities at the Australian Synchrotron, was published in the journal Nature Chemistry on May 15, 2011.
Professor Leone Spiccia from the School of Chemistry at Monash University said the ultimate goal of researchers in this area is to create a cheap, efficient way to split water, powered by sunlight, which would open up production of hydrogen as a clean fuel, and leading to long-term solutions for our renewable energy crisis.
To achieve this, they have been studying complex catalysts designed to mimic the catalysts plants use to split water with sunlight. But the new study shows that there might be much simpler alternatives to hand.
"The hardest part about turning water into fuel is splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, but the team at Monash seems to have uncovered the process, developing a water-splitting cell based on a manganese-based catalyst," Professor Spiccia said.
"Birnessite, it turns out, is what does the work. Like other elements in the middle of the Periodic Table, manganese can exist in a number of what chemists call oxidation states. These correspond to the number of oxygen atoms with which a metal atom could be combined," Professor Spiccia said.
"When an electrical voltage is applied to the cell, it splits water into hydrogen and oxygen and when the researchers carefully examined the catalyst as it was working, using advanced spectroscopic methods they found that it had decomposed into a much simpler material called birnessite, well-known to geologists as a black stain on many rocks."
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
Interesting Badge! Looks like practical applications are still a long way off. It’s a start though!
sigh ... no details on efficiency or energy costs.
Interesting work. But personally I’d just prefer an E-Cat.
If the E-Cat is not a scam, it will probably be expensive, at first, anyway.
This technology could eventually provide the necessary inexpensive hydrogen for fuel cell or hydrogen powered IC engines..............
Does it anger anyone else that we have to go to a foreign nation to use their equipment for this type of research?
Next we’ll be having to hitch rides to the space stat... Oh wait!
Ah the progress the Democrats represent. Much more of it, and we’ll be back to the horse and buggy and the requisite pooper-scoopers for our streets.
Would it kill them to tell us where in the world Monash University is? I looked it up, but sheesh . .
Hydrogen will probably never be as efficient as carbon based fuels, but because hydrogen is the most common element, its low cost will probably make up for the lack of efficiency.
I would think that every petroleum refinery started in a test tube.............
The technique appears to be a more efficient way of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The electricity can come from anything: solar, nuke, e-cat, whatever.
On the other end of the pipeline, the hydrogen and oxygen can be re-combined in a fuel cell to produce electricity. It all comes down to what is most efficient means of transmitting power: long distance high-voltage transmission, or hydrogen pipeline.
Even if the conversion were 100% efficient, there still remains the problems of storage and transportation. Hydrogen is a great rocket fuel where cubic dollars are available to wring out the last gram of mass from a vehicle which is not used daily.
Another inconvenient fact is that water vapor (H2 combustion exhaust) is a more powerful green house gas that CO2. Not that I ascribe to the AGW model, but by their own logic, this makes no sense. Solution in search of grant funding IMHO.
At a living wage no doubt. The Left would unionize them in ten minutes, and they’d make twice what you and I do, and retire at 35.
[ Even if the conversion were 100% efficient, there still remains the problems of storage and transportation. ]
Wrong convert it as you need it.. eliminating storage.. until you need it it remains water.. and the product becomes water again... after burn them together..
Storage of water is not an issue.. its the best way to store hydrogen..
So what provides the energy to convert the water? The vehicle would need to carry around an energy supply equal to the amount to be produced by the engine. 100% efficiency means no loss, not no energy.
Thereby increasing the greenhouse warming effect of the exhaust (per the theory).
The Scientists who thought it up were working on it in Australia. We did not go to them, they came to us. they submitted the grant request, and based on their proposal, got part of the funding from the US. The fact that there were several grantors indicates that they have been at it for some time (years), and have received more than one round of funding. It looks like they found something significant.
This is a good thing.
read the article,,,
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.