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News announcements and other topics => News => Topic started by: gravitypushes on August 01, 2008, 06:29:21 PM

Title: 'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution
Post by: gravitypushes on August 01, 2008, 06:29:21 PM
The key component in Nocera and Kanan's new process is a new catalyst that produces oxygen gas from water; another catalyst produces valuable hydrogen gas. The new catalyst consists of cobalt metal, phosphate and an electrode, placed in water. When electricity -- whether from a photovoltaic cell, a wind turbine or any other source -- runs through the electrode, the cobalt and phosphate form a thin film on the electrode, and oxygen gas is produced.

Combined with another catalyst, such as platinum, that can produce hydrogen gas from water, the system can duplicate the water splitting reaction that occurs during photosynthesis.

The new catalyst works at room temperature, in neutral pH water, and it's easy to set up, Nocera said. "That's why I know this is going to work. It's so easy to implement," he said.

http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2008/oxygen-0731.html
Title: Re: 'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution
Post by: retroworm on August 01, 2008, 09:12:24 PM
Nifty, and I'm probably missing something, but what's the "revolution" in the process? Is it the efficiency, or just the lack of electrolyte? To my understanding electrolytes don't get used up in electrolysis, and they are fairly safe to handle so I don't see why that would be holding electrolyzers back for consumer use. Unless it's something like 99% efficient, it's hardly a revolution/major discovery.

Title: Re: 'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution
Post by: jadaro2600 on August 02, 2008, 03:56:54 AM
i hate to troll but they didn't go into very much detail AT ALL about the true focus of the article - the 'catalyst';  Brings to mind 'additive' which in short translates to something that you must continually add to your fuel source - it being water in this example.

I'm sure that they have indeed created a more effective means of electrolysis using catalysts but how much would a catalyst like this cost? Would we be buying catalyst weekly ...etc.

...coming from MIT i would expect them to separate the solar energy from the idea of having a more effect means of electrolysis.

http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/dgn/www/research/e_conversion.html (http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/dgn/www/research/e_conversion.html) - this site references 38 publications, supposedly the site of the professor in question.

After thinking about it for a minute, it looks like a closed system? ..but what I don't understand then, I suppose, is what happens to the rejoined Hydrogen and oxygen.  Does it trickle back down to the electrolysis tank or what?

After all, there aren't many technical details - has anyone got any technical information on this?


Title: Re: 'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution
Post by: christo4_99 on August 19, 2008, 02:11:59 AM
cobalt and phosphate and something else,imo probably aluminum,titanium or platinum...
Title: Re: 'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution
Post by: christo4_99 on August 19, 2008, 02:18:40 AM
Nifty, and I'm probably missing something, but what's the "revolution" in the process? Is it the efficiency, or just the lack of electrolyte? To my understanding electrolytes don't get used up in electrolysis, and they are fairly safe to handle so I don't see why that would be holding electrolyzers back for consumer use. Unless it's something like 99% efficient, it's hardly a revolution/major discovery.


i've read 100% efficiency...the jist of discovery is that it brings the efficiency of pv up by 50% thereby allowing it to output beyond demand(or average demand) so that the excess can be used at night or for a fuel cell...but it will also justify the aperage draw on automotive batteries during electrolysis by increasing production by 50% for a given setup...p.s.would be nice if they would mix it with the meyer wfc
Title: Re: 'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution
Post by: christo4_99 on August 19, 2008, 02:27:33 AM
http://web.mit.edu/chemistry/www/faculty/nocera.html