Nav: Home

Efficient catalysts key to turning water into fuel

November 30, 2016

While it is already scientifically possible to split water in this way, highly efficient catalysts like this are the key to moving the system to one that is economically viable.

Professor Huijin Zhao, the Director of Griffith's Centre for Clean Environment and Energy (CCEE) says just as solar light can generate electricity, the water splitting process could do the same via the generation of clean chemical fuel such as hydrogen.

"The world is now facing five major issues for humanity - energy, environment, water, food security and public health," he says.

"Global warming is ranked first and it's all resulting from burning fossil fuels because that's where carbon dioxide comes from.

"To reduce this and to make the global temperature not rise beyond 2C you have to find clean, renewable energy and hydrogen equals clean energy.

"It's part of the solution - if we really can split water into two that will be one scientific solution for the future of sustainable energy supplies."

Prof Zhao said hydrogen would be a promising clean fuel over petrol in forseable future.

"Scientifically it's already demonstrated, it's already working but to do this in a way that's economically viable, there's still a bit of work to do and we need government policy, general public support, and you also need those big companies to realise they should not dig up out of the ground anymore," he said.

"It's not just a simple technology issue."

Prof Zhao, who also sits within the Environmental Futures Research Institute, was also recently awarded $401,000 in the Australian Research Council Projects for 2017 for 2D-Nanoporous Structured High Performance Gas Evolution Electrocatalysts.

Heterogeneous electrocatalytic gas evolution reactions hold a key for clean energy generation and storage technologies, but their efficiencies are severely hindered by high overpotentials caused by slow gaseous products detachment from catalyst surface.

Overpotentials represent the extra energy required to make a chemical reaction to occur. The higher the overpotential, the higher the energy consumption.

This project aims to tackle this critical issue by developing novel two-dimensional ultrathin porous electrocatalysts with superior gas detachment properties and low overpotentials. The outcome of the project will provide sound scientific basis to design and develop high performance electrocatalysts for fuel gas production.
-end-


Griffith University

Related Hydrogen Articles:

World's fastest hydrogen sensor could pave the way for clean hydrogen energy
Hydrogen is a clean and renewable energy carrier that can power vehicles, with water as the only emission.
Chemical hydrogen storage system
Hydrogen is a highly attractive, but also highly explosive energy carrier, which requires safe, lightweight and cheap storage as well as transportation systems.
Observing hydrogen's effects in metal
Microscopy technique could help researchers design safer reactor vessels or hydrogen storage tanks.
The 'Batman' in hydrogen fuel cells
In a study published in Nature on Jan. 31, researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) report advances in the development of hydrogen fuel cells that could increase its application in vehicles, especially in extreme temperatures like cold winters.
Paving the way for more efficient hydrogen cars
Hydrogen-powered vehicles emit only water vapor from their tailpipes, offering a cleaner alternative to fossil-fuel-based transportation.
More Hydrogen News and Hydrogen Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...