Saturday, April 04, 2020
A breakthrough into splitting water into its parts could help make renewable energy pay off, even when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing.
"The current water electrolysis system uses a very expensive catalyst. In our system, we use a nickel-iron based catalyst, which is much cheaper, but the performance is comparable," said Yu Seung Kim, a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory and corresponding author on the paper.
Most water splitting today is conducted using a piece of equipment called a proton exchange membrane water electrolyzer, which generates hydrogen at a high production rate. It's expensive, and works under very acidic conditions, requiring precious metal catalysts such as platinum and iridium as well as corrosion-resistant metal plates made of titanium.
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