Filed under: PV technology
Science Magazine on July 31 published a report by MIT’s Daniel Nocera and Matthew Kanan that they’d achieved hydrolysis at room temperature and pressure, using a cobalt catalyst in place of platinum at the oxygen-producing electrode.
The research opens the door to high-efficiency storage of solar and wind power. If the energy to split hydrogen from water can be made dramatically lower, it becomes much more economical to store hydrogen when the sun is high or the wind is strong, and recover the energy through a fuel cell overnight or during calms.
The traditional method of electrical hydrolysis is a high-temperature process, wasting a great deal of energy as heat. If the new cobalt-catalyst process proves scalable, electrolysis on a distributed household scale may prove practical.
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