Researchers develop new catalyst capable of producing hydrogen fuelJanuary 18, 2018
Researchers use inexpensive materials to develop new catalyst
Researchers from the University of California, Santa Cruz, have developed a new carbon-based nanocomposite that could serve as a catalyst to produce renewable hydrogen fuel. The research team notes that the new catalyst is inexpensive due to its use of affordable materials. The catalyst works by separating water into its base components of oxygen and hydrogen, making the production process much more environmentally friendly than it has been in the past.
Catalyst can efficiently produce hydrogen fuel
The new catalyst is the latest development in research into efficient hydrogen fuel production. Initially, researchers developed a nanostructured catalyst that made use of ruthenium ions. This allowed the catalyst to effectively generate hydrogen. The performance of the catalyst was further improved through the introduction of carbon nitride and graphene. The materials used have high catalytic performance, making them ideal for use in hydrogen production.
Finding ways to produce inexpensive and environmentally hydrogen has become a priority
Conventional hydrogen fuel production is heavily reliant on fossil-fuels. This makes hydrogen somewhat less attractive than other renewable energy sources. With the demand for fuel cells on the rise, finding ways to make hydrogen more environmentally friendly have become a priority. Fuel cells have become particularly popular in the auto industry, and new catalysts could help ensure the future success of fuel cell vehicles in the coming years. Moreover, the development of less expensive catalysts could make fuel cells significantly more attractive to consumers and businesses alike.
Further research could help improve the performance of the new catalyst
Most conventional catalysts are made with platinum, which contributes to their notoriously high cost. By using less expensive materials, researchers from UC Santa Cruz have been able to develop a catalyst that is a fraction of the cost of its conventional counterparts but with similar electrocatalytic performance. Further research must be done before this catalyst can see any degree of commercialization. If the catalyst could successfully enter the market, however, it could have a major impact on the fuel cell industry as a whole.