Rice University makes a breakthrough in hydrogen fuel productionNovember 7, 2014
Team of researchers finds a way to produce hydrogen using a molybdenum film
A team of researchers from Rice University may have found an effective way to store and produce hydrogen fuel. The team has developed a nanoporous film that is comprised of molybdenum, which can effectively produce hydrogen or be used as a storage solution. This could be a significant breakthrough for the hydrogen space, as efficient storage and production methods have been in high demand for some time. More research will have to be done with the new material, but the team is hopeful that their discovery will help make hydrogen more attractive.
Film shows that it has a significant degree of catalytic potential
During previous tests of the film, research found that its flat, two-dimensional surface was mostly inert. Recent research found that the edges of the material, however, have a great deal of catalytic potential, making the film capable of producing hydrogen. The team from Rice University suggest that the film could be used as a cost effective way to generate hydrogen, which can be used for a variety of purposes.
Film is also capable of storing energy for extended periods of time
Beyond hydrogen production, the film can also be used as a supercapacitor, storing energy as a static charge and releasing this energy in a burst. The film is not capable of storing more energy than a conventional battery, but research has shown that the film can store a charge for a relatively long period of time. During tests, the film proved that it can retain 90% of its storage capacity after 10,000 charge and discharge cycles. After 20,000 cycles, the film retained 83% of its storage capacity.
Effective hydrogen production methods are becoming a priority for those interested in renewable energy
As hydrogen becomes more popular, finding better ways to produce it is becoming more important. Conventional hydrogen production methods are costly and rely heavily on fossil-fuels, making hydrogen somewhat harmful to the environment and an unattractive investment for those interested in renewable energy. New solutions that can solve the production and storage problems facing hydrogen could make this form of power a more viable alternative to fossil-fuels.