Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Splitting Water for Renewable Energy Simpler Than First Thought? Manganese-Based Catalyst...
Science Daily ^ | Staff

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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Technical
KEYWORDS: energy; fuel; hydrogen; pollution

1 posted on 05/18/2011 11:03:21 AM PDT by Red Badger
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Interesting Badge! Looks like practical applications are still a long way off. It’s a start though!


2 posted on 05/18/2011 11:16:38 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

sigh ... no details on efficiency or energy costs.


3 posted on 05/18/2011 11:18:15 AM PDT by taxcontrol
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Interesting work. But personally I’d just prefer an E-Cat.


4 posted on 05/18/2011 11:38:46 AM PDT by Liberty1970 (Liberty, not License. Freedom, not Slavery.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Liberty1970

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..............


5 posted on 05/18/2011 11:43:33 AM PDT by Red Badger (Jesus said there is no marriage in Heaven. That's why they call it Heaven............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

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.


6 posted on 05/18/2011 11:54:22 AM PDT by DoughtyOne (Tell me you haven't asked yourself what mistake Obama made, that wound up causing Laden's death?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

Would it kill them to tell us where in the world Monash University is? I looked it up, but sheesh . .


7 posted on 05/18/2011 12:06:05 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Me and OJ are going to find the real birth certificate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: taxcontrol

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.


8 posted on 05/18/2011 12:13:19 PM PDT by Jonty30
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger
You would need to release H separate from O in vast amounts. Think high pressure steam volume. Then you would have to replicate it on a vast scale.
9 posted on 05/18/2011 12:19:10 PM PDT by Domangart
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
...the requisite pooper-scoopers for our streets.

FULL EMPLOYMENT!......................

10 posted on 05/18/2011 12:19:37 PM PDT by Red Badger (Jesus said there is no marriage in Heaven. That's why they call it Heaven............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Domangart

I would think that every petroleum refinery started in a test tube.............


11 posted on 05/18/2011 12:24:49 PM PDT by Red Badger (Jesus said there is no marriage in Heaven. That's why they call it Heaven............)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Liberty1970
Interesting work. But personally I’d just prefer an E-Cat.

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.

12 posted on 05/18/2011 12:28:33 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 ("It is only when we've lost everything, that we are free to do anything" -- Fight Club)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

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.


13 posted on 05/18/2011 12:33:36 PM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

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.


14 posted on 05/18/2011 12:35:05 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Tell me you haven't asked yourself what mistake Obama made, that wound up causing Laden's death?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades

[ 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..


15 posted on 05/18/2011 12:47:55 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades
Conventional fossil fuel internal combustion engines also produce water as a combustion product. The ratio of carbon dioxide (CO2) molecules to water (H2O) molecules is about equal. Burning (or otherwise oxidizing) pure hydrogen simply eliminates the carbon dioxide combustion product.
16 posted on 05/18/2011 12:55:12 PM PDT by reg45
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe

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.


17 posted on 05/18/2011 1:15:05 PM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: reg45
Burning (or otherwise oxidizing) pure hydrogen simply eliminates the carbon dioxide combustion product.

Thereby increasing the greenhouse warming effect of the exhaust (per the theory).

18 posted on 05/18/2011 1:17:14 PM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
Does it anger anyone else that we have to go to a foreign nation to use their equipment for this type of research?

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.

19 posted on 05/18/2011 1:22:10 PM PDT by Mr. Quarterpanel (I am not an actor, but I play one on TV)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades

read the article,,,


20 posted on 05/18/2011 1:32:46 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe
I did. Read a Physics book.

If a machine is to produce X Kilowatt-hours of work, you must supply it with X Kilowatt-hours of energy times the net efficiency of the conversion process. Water will in no way provide any amount of net combustion energy no matter how you catalyze the reaction of splitting it into its constituent atoms.

All you can hope to do is bring the efficiency closer to 1.

21 posted on 05/18/2011 1:44:33 PM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades
"Even if the conversion were 100% efficient..."

If the conversion is 100% efficient, you will get back the same energy from burning the hydrogen that was required to split apart. Hydrogen is a storage medium, not an energy supply.

22 posted on 05/18/2011 1:46:08 PM PDT by HangThemHigh (Entropy's not what it used to be.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: BipolarBob

In reading the article I noticed that the word Australia was mentioned repeatedly. That led me to assume it was in Australia. I checked, yup.

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia AND The university has eight campuses: six in Victoria (Clayton, Caulfield, Berwick, Peninsula, Parkville and Gippsland), one in Malaysia and one in South Africa. Monash also has a research and teaching centre in Prato, Italy and a graduate research school in Mumbai, India.


23 posted on 05/18/2011 1:58:30 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

>>If the E-Cat is not a scam, it will probably be expensive, at first, anyway.<<

Anything that is progressing too fast can be brought to a halt or a slow down is done by taxing the snot out of it.


24 posted on 05/18/2011 2:01:19 PM PDT by B4Ranch (Allowing Islam into America is akin to injecting yourself with AIDS to prove how tolerant you are..)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
Does it anger anyone else that we have to go to a foreign nation to use their equipment for this type of research?

Who's "we"?

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.

I love your irony. You do realize it was the GOP and more conservative governments, not the Democrats, who has cut funding to the labs...right?

Brookhaven has the most vocal voices against proposed GOP cuts...e.g., good ol' far-left Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Tim Bishop.

There are many projects that have been affected by various funding halts.

Good timing for this release--even the Australian synchrotron is in trouble, with Ted Baillieu defunding it after taking over from Labour's John Brumby.

25 posted on 05/18/2011 2:13:37 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades; hosepipe

Read the article...again.


26 posted on 05/18/2011 2:13:53 PM PDT by Gondring (Going D'Anconia)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Quarterpanel

Monash has a track record on this line of research, also. For example:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080817223544.htm


27 posted on 05/18/2011 2:20:54 PM PDT by Gondring (Going D'Anconia)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades
Another inconvenient fact is that water vapor (H2 combustion exhaust) is a more powerful green house gas that CO2.

Yet water vapor doesn't have the residence time of CO2. That's why you don't hear of forcing with the former. When we have raindrops of CO2, that argument might hold...uh...water.

28 posted on 05/18/2011 2:30:10 PM PDT by Gondring (Going D'Anconia)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades

maybe you missed something....


29 posted on 05/18/2011 3:05:03 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Mr. Quarterpanel

It was my impression that we came up with the idea, and then worked in conjunction with the Australians. If your take is more accurate then I stand corrected.


30 posted on 05/18/2011 4:50:27 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Tell me you haven't asked yourself what mistake Obama made, that wound up causing Laden's death?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Gondring

With Obama’s gutting of our space program, AND Clinton’s gutting of our collider in Texas, it’s tough for me to imagine the ‘Right’ destroying our tools for productivity in a more focused way. JPL is going through the slicing and dicing process right now.

I do cater to the idea that both parties are working on consort to take this nation down though, so I do get your point. I’m sure there was slicing and dicing under Bush too.


31 posted on 05/18/2011 4:54:21 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Tell me you haven't asked yourself what mistake Obama made, that wound up causing Laden's death?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne
http://www.hep.net/ssc/new/history/hepssc/clinton.html [...] gutting of our collider in Texas [...]

http://www.hep.net/ssc/new/history/hepssc/clinton.html:

THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON

June 16, 1993
The Honorable William H. Natcher
Chairman Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

As your Committee considers the Energy and Water Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1994, I want you to know of my continuing support for the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC).

The most important benefits of the increased understanding gained from the SSC may not be known for a generation. We can, however, be certain that important benefits will result simply from making the effort. The SSC project will stimulate technologies in many areas critical for the health of the U.S. economy. The superconductor technologies developed for the project's magnets will stimulate production of a material that will be critical for ensuring the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers, for improving medical care, and a variety of other purposes. The SSC will also produce critical employment and educational opportunities for thousands of young engineers and scientists around the country.

Abandoning the SSC at this point would signal that the United States is compromising its position of leadership in basic science - a position unquestioned for generations. These are tough economic times, yet our Administration supports this project as a part of its broad investment package in science and technology. Our support requires making sure that the project is well managed and that the Congress is informed of the full costs and anticipated benefits of the program. The SSC previously had an unstable funding profile. The stretched-out funding proposed by our Administration of $640 million in FY 94 will allow better control of project costs. The full cost and scheduling implications of this stretch-out will be complete in the early fall, and will be examined carefully by the Administration at that time.

I ask you to support this important and challenging effort.

Sincerely,
(Bill Clinton signature)

32 posted on 05/18/2011 5:39:03 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne

Sorry about the formatting glitches.


33 posted on 05/18/2011 5:40:48 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe
Storage of water is not an issue.. its the best way to store hydrogen..

Reminds me of Gracie Allen. George saw her putting a pot of boiling water into the refrigerator and asked why she was doing that. "This way," she explained, "whenever I need some boiling water all I have to do is take it out of the fridge and heat it up."

34 posted on 05/18/2011 7:09:29 PM PDT by dr_lew
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: dr_lew
Gracie was brilliant.. said George.. No doubt she thunk up that joke..
Many of her bits were brilliant in their simplicity..
35 posted on 05/18/2011 10:01:31 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: HangThemHigh

Exactly the point I am trying to make.


36 posted on 05/19/2011 5:34:43 AM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe

Do you suppose you could state your point in succinct technical terms? I’ve read the article and I’ve made mine. Kindly point out the error of my thinking.


37 posted on 05/19/2011 5:40:18 AM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: DoughtyOne

I can see how you might reach that conclusion. The wording was a little misleading.

While I don’t know the specifics of this particular research, I do have a general understanding of how scientific research is funded.

I have family that engage in scientific research, and I know how he gets his funding. He writes grant proposals, and applies to a list of agencies interested in funding his types of research. Some of the sources are...Well, interesting, to say the least. Military, Intelligence, foreign governmental agencies as well as non-profit NGOs are some of the sources of his research funding.

The fact is, you are not likely to see the ChiComs doing this sort research. It doesn’t go well with Central Planning. It is easier to steal technology than develop it.


38 posted on 05/19/2011 5:41:54 AM PDT by Mr. Quarterpanel (I am not an actor, but I play one on TV)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades
[ Kindly point out the error of my thinking. ]

NO....

39 posted on 05/19/2011 9:57:50 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe

Fine then, I’ll just assume you don’t understand thermodynamics, physics or chemistry because you really can’t extract any more energy from water than you add to it. It’s the law.


40 posted on 05/19/2011 11:16:51 AM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades

[ you really can’t extract any more energy from water than you add to it. It’s the law. ]

Unless the two gasses are separated easily.. and you burn them..


41 posted on 05/19/2011 11:53:30 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe

No, there is no unless.

Catalysts only reduce the amount of excess energy wasted in the conversion. You still need to put in all the energy that you want to extract as combustion heat, and then some. Repeating the contrary position again will not make it any more valid.


42 posted on 05/19/2011 1:37:37 PM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades

Prove it...


43 posted on 05/19/2011 1:40:35 PM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe
Following the links in the article which you posted, but do not understand:

Catalysis
Activation energy

"There are none so blind as those who will not see."

These principles have been rigorously proven and re-proven over hundreds of years. The onus is on those who hold that there are exceptions, to prove them.

44 posted on 05/20/2011 5:35:07 AM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Jack of all Trades

One wonder if you even read (and understand the implications) of the article..


45 posted on 05/20/2011 10:15:22 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: hosepipe

Well since you won’t, or can’t, make or defend a point, that’s a pretty empty one-liner.


46 posted on 05/20/2011 1:43:53 PM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

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.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson