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New Hydrogen Production Method Could Help Store Renewable Energy  RSS feed

 
Burra Maluca
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In a paper published in September in the journal Science, the researchers explain how they've created a system that can produce hydrogen 30 times quicker than ever before, and using power from green energy like wind and solar.

Their new system allows hydrogen to be produced at lower power loads offered by renewables like wind and solar, meaning coal or natural gas don't have to be involved at all.

To make it work, the researchers used a strategy of partially splitting water (H2O) molecules, leaving the hydrogen locked in a liquid "sponge" and the oxygen as a gas. To release the hydrogen, the researchers pass the liquid over a catalyst, allowing them to "produce hydrogen on demand," Cronin said.

Cronin told HuffPost that by separating the process into two steps, their method prevents the explosions that can occur if hydrogen and oxygen mix during electrolysis.


A Daimler AG Mercedes-Benz F-Cell vehicle is fueled at a public hydrogen pumping station outside the Orange County Sanitation District waste-treatment facility in Fountain Valley, California. Hydrogen can be used in fuel cells or burned to produce electricity
.

Full article here.

 
allen lumley
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Burra maluca Thank you ! Big AL
 
Tom Gauthier
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As always, the devil is in the details. What is the "catalyst" and how much fossil fuel energy is required to produce the "catalyst"?

Remember, hydrogen is not an energy source (unless you're on the Sun) it is a way of storing energy that is converted from one form to another ... fossil fuel is burned to convert water to hydrogen, hydrogen is stored, then later burned to create heat.

We always hear that hydrogen is "the most plentiful energy source in the universe", which is true. Unfortunately, there is virtually no "free" hydrogen available on Earth, it is mostly locked up with oxygen as water.

-Tom
 
Burra Maluca
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Tom Gauthier wrote:Remember, hydrogen is not an energy source (unless you're on the Sun) it is a way of storing energy that is converted from one form to another ... fossil fuel is burned to convert water to hydrogen, hydrogen is stored, then later burned to create heat.


From what I can make out, the whole point of this method is that by using catalysts, fossil fuels will no longer have to be involved.

What is the "catalyst" and how much fossil fuel energy is required to produce the "catalyst"?


According to the abstract, the mediator is silicotungstic acid, and the catalyst is platinum, if that's of any help in figuring out the details. Assuming the catalyst doesn't 'wear out' in any way, it would be a one-off production cost.
 
allen lumley
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- about a dozen years ago one of the German car manufactures (BMW?), misted the outside of their radiator shells with Platinum I believe, and claimed that
Driving that car through Los Angeles would clean the air more than it would pollute it !

My point is, before the clammer of 'its a rare earth metal' starts, lets see how this catalyst is used, often in dealing with any catalyst, there are one or two
elements that can fill-up the reaction surfaces of the original Catalyst (Generally we say the catalyst has been poisoned ) Often scientists can look to other
elements in the same class on the periodic table, and find a superior work-around chemical catalyst. So far we know it works with water at room temperatures
and is potentially the safest way to store H2 found to date !

This puts us squarely back to the infrastructure question, like the chicken or egg story, every one wants the other guy to build his part 1st ! for the Crafts

Think like Fire! Flow like Gas! Don't be the Marshmallow! As always, your comments and questions are solicited and welcome ! Big AL
 
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