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New Kind of Electroysis to Catalyze Hydrogen Economy

Yes, there's a double meaning to "catalyze" in that title. A couple of scientists at MIT have created a new kind of generic viagra made in india catalyst that makes electrolysis much simpler, cheaper and efficient. Theoretically this could help save the viagra online stores world by:

  1. Creating a simple way to produce hydrogen fuel for our automobile fleet
  2. Storing electricity provided by intermittent renewables like wind and solar
  3. Storing electricity during cheap off-peak times for use during peak hours
  4. Eliminating the need for hydrogen transport, as it could be produced anywhere with connection to the electric grid

Probably the biggest deal here is number 2 and 3. We've already seen some steps toward a distributed power system where everyone has a fuel source in their house. Bloom Energy is hoping to create a system that would allow every person to have a hydrogen storage / electricity creation box in their home.

The new technique uses inexpensive catalysts containing cobalt and phosphate. But the biggest deal is that it bubbles 100% of the oxygen produced, meaning that they can close the loop and not have to cheap cialis canada discard any water to keep efficiency high.

Other electrolysis techniques don't remove all of the O2 from he water, creating hydroxides that degrade performance. The new system, developed at MIT, removes all of the oxygen, so that electrolysis can be efficient at room temperature without electrolyte inputs to remove the it's cool online cialis hydroxides.

The scientists seem to be confident that this is a game changer, and a breakthrough, though they're saying it'll be a decade before it can be fully implemented. Nonetheless, this is a big freakin' deal, especially if combined with the next wave of cheap renewables. Power storage remains a huge issue, and if this could solve that problem, it would be the second step we need toward a truly renewable future.

Sources: CNet Greentech, TreeHugger and Science Magazine Podcast

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Comments (18)Add Comment
This is big...
written by A. L., July 31, 2008
Indeed, this will make a big difference for H2 fuel generation. We already have catalysts that work well to get H2 from water (Pt works best, but other less expensive ones work well too), but the tough part was always generating the O2 from water (which this catalyst claims to help). I'd like to cialis women see how much this cobalt-phosphate catalyst reduces the overpotential for water splitting (currently it takes ~1.5-2 V to split water, which can give back a max of 1.23 V), since all the articles are a bit light on details. It's also pretty important that the cialis generic online cialis generic catalyst will work in neutral pH water.

Though I'm a huge proponent of solar electricity, it seems to me that this technology could just as easily be used with electricity from coal; sometimes the hype machine gets going way too fast before the scientists even publish their peer-reviewed paper.
Hardly a "game changer"
written by David Ahlport, August 01, 2008
Even if electrolysis conversion was 100% efficient, it still wouldn't make hydrogen cars a more efficient use of electricity than batteries.

At 100%, you'd go from 23.1% net efficiency, up to 30.7% net efficiency

Batteries by comparison already get better than 69% net efficiency
written by Ajay, August 01, 2008
I would like to point out that in the first paragraph you wrote "A couple scientists". You have omitted "of".

Also, in the fourth paragraph you wrote "Bit the biggest deal ". You should have written "But the biggest deal ".

What is he water?
written by Mr Dupont, August 01, 2008
Other electrolysis techniques don't remove all of the O2 from he water,
written by Mr Dupont, August 01, 2008
OK, #1#2. How is this about "storing electricity"? Wouldn't it be more of a way to store hydrogen

1)For use in hydrogen fueled automobiles.

2)For electricity generation during peak demand and periods of the best place when will viagra be available as a generic no wind or sunlight.

Eliminating the need for hydrogen transport, as it could be produced (anywhere with connection to the electric grid)[anywhere there is a supply elctricity].

A lot of good info, thanks for the information.

No word on efficiency
written by Doug, August 01, 2008
Neither the CNet Greentech nor TreeHugger articles (I didn't listen to the mp3) mention the efficiency. A commenter on the TreeHugger said that catalysts like this don't increase efficiency, just lower the temperature; the benefits would seem to be mainly (1) more-common materials can be used for this hydrolysis, and (2) reducing the dissolved O2 in the water.

But those aren't hydrogen's main problems.

The main problem is the systemic efficiency -- you lose about half the energy when making the hydrogen, and half again when converting it back to electricity.

Think about it this way: if you wanted to use this to buy cheap off-peak power instead of expensive peak power, the price difference would have to be 4x before it made even economic sense.

It's even stupider from a greenhouse-gas perspective: if you're putting your rooftop-collected electricity into hydrogen, you're destroying 3/4 of that energy, which could have otherwise been used by other households instead of coal- or gas-based power, or even hydro that could otherwise be used for nighttime loads. Not exactly a green choice.

It's going to look here best way to take viagra take a *while* before enough solar is installed to even match the daytime demand curve; until then, storage is just a complete non-issue -- there'll be someone ready to use it when you feed it into the grid.

A decade?
written by Matthew, August 01, 2008
Is this a decade before the entire system, solar to hydrogen/electricity, become large scale; or is it a decade before the catalyist becomes commercial.
Call me ignorant, but if it is the latter, I don't understand why it would take 10 years.
written by Bob Wallace, August 01, 2008
I have a problem with the hoopla over this discovery (interesting as it is).

The write-ups to date talk about how we might now be able to store solar-generated energy for an affordable price but make no mention of storing thermal solar heated liquids, which is an affordable solution.

Storing hydrogen might just be more expensive than storing super hot liquids.

(Hydrogen storage has an advantage in that it can be stored 'locally', thus taking some peak load off the grid.)
Storing electricity vs storing hydrogen.
written by A. L., August 01, 2008
Generating H2 is not just a way to store electricity, it's a way to transport it. If you just want to store electricity, then it makes the most sense to pump water uphill then reclaim the energy with a turbine. Batteries and drugstore capacitors leak, and heat can escape from thermal storage methods. The big deal about H2 is that it is a clean fuel so that the energy can be transported around without losses in transmission or storage. Admittedly, there are still issues with H2 storage and transportation, but there's a lot more incentive to work out those problems if Nocera's group has figured out a good way to cleanly generate the hydrogen gas.

To David Ahlport: true, fuel cells are not terribly efficient at converting the stored energy to electricity, but there's a lot of people working on them. Don't trivialize the what is the cost of viagra cost of manufacturing batteries, which requires a lot of raw material. Both electric and H2-powered vehicles have a long way to go to match the capabilities of today's engines.
To A.L.
written by Doug, August 01, 2008
Electric motors easily exceed the capabilities of today's internal-combustion engines -- in efficiency, power, and especially in its consistency of torque over a wide range of buying levitra RPMs.

I don't see much incentive to build out an H2 transportation network. First, you lose a lot more energy in the conversion processes than in just transmitting the electricity through the grid and charging a battery. Second, most cars don't actually need nearly the energy density that H2 supposedly can achieve; batteries will supply 90 percent of the need. For long trips, a hybrid setup fueled with a biofuel, or a battery-swapping network such as envisioned by Project Better Place, would be superior.

And anyways, by the time hydrogen technologies are advanced enough that they would start to be useful in general-purpose applications (say, 2020), a substantial part of the electric car fleet will have already been built out, along with an upgraded electric grid. Storage of excess solar/wind power will probably start to be an issue by then, but the auto fleet will have plenty of capacity to accommodate that need.

Hydrogen will be useful for specialized applications, and for energy storage in facilities that cannot connect to a grid (e.g. Jonny Depp's island).
written by A. L., August 01, 2008
Doug: I agree that electric motors are better than ICE's; I was trying to buy levitra sale say that currently gasoline gives us a much better range-power combination, because the energy density and/or lifetime is just too low in current batteries. I'm all for electric cars for commuting, when they can be slowly recharged between short trips, but I don't see them as feasible for long-distance travel without the battery-swapping system. I also don't think that many people will want to have one car for commuting and another just for long trips; it's great to have versatile transportation options with a car.

I'm very interested to see if battery costs come down with mass production the same way that solar panel costs are supposed to fall. It seems to me that the materials costs for batteries may stay high, whereas fuel cells may be cheaper to produce. We'll see about hydrogen storage -- might have the same problem as batteries there.
Not electrolysis
written by CNCMike, August 01, 2008
According to the MIT news site this is closer to photosynthesis than electrolysis.
written by Doug, August 01, 2008
That MIT article is pretty annoying, saying that their invention will "unlock" the Sun's potential to buy tramadol tablets provide energy. No -- the only "lock" is to get past the political and ignorance-based hurdles that are standing in the way of the actual buildout of solar thermal plants, distributed PV installations, and upgraded electric grid.

This MIT article itself demonstrates such ignorance, in its assertion that the "storage problem" must be solved before solar energy can become widespread.

Oh, and the only similarity to photosynthesis this has is (1) the ph level of the water, and (2) the fact that it generates oxygen. It still requires an electric current -- and a platinum electrode for the hydrogen-producing side of the reaction.

Someone's trying to win some more grant money.
written by Doug, August 01, 2008
Yes, given that very fast recharge of batteries is doubtful for an economical system, and that it's unknown yet whether a battery-swapping scheme will be practical, there will need to be a secondary energy source for those long-haul trips.

But gasoline, with its wide distribution network, will be around for several more decades (hopefully not much more), so a serial hybrid setup with a gasoline engine as the "range extender" will be the most practical in the near- to mid-term. If by, say, 2030 or 2040, we've reduced gasoline usage to maybe 1/10 or less of today's, and fully replaced coal and natural gas w/ wind solar, the climate disaster will probably (well, hopefully) be averted.

It will remain to be seen as to what the best alternatives gasoline will be by then. If batteries continue to improve, up to 10x or more of today's energy densities, it may not be a major issue -- oil-based fuels will simply be phased out. Otherwise, hydrogen could well start to look good.
written by Ken Roberts, August 02, 2008
I just want to bring up a little tidbit that may not have been considered. If you go with a battery-swapping plan, you're going to have to produce a whole lot more batteries than you otherwise would, depending on the range of the batteries used. Given that batteries are usually environmentally damaging, this is something that should be considered.
Comparison of elctrolysis technologies
written by Karlamanda Bell, August 13, 2008
I would like to see a comparison of different electrolysis technologies. I have come across another system called HTSE (High Temperature Steam Electrolysis) developed in the US also.

Are you interested in an article on HTSE.
I would be happy to onsend. but more broadly can you do a review with some kind of scientific panel of technologies.

Regards, karlamanda Bell
written by Harry Mclaughlin, September 17, 2008
This is a great break Thu for if you can produce the H2 with solar during the day you can use this H2 to run our H2 generator during the night and levitra holland if your solar array is larger and runs you house during the day and also makes your H2 for the night you have a system that gets you off the grid and is complete.
written by Ghonadz, November 11, 2008
I think that this is a neat development and that there will be a place for hydrogen in our future energy economy. Local production for use in home fuel cells might be a good idea. I am puzzled by the omission, in a discussion of new power storage techniques, of the use of carbon fiber tanks to store air pressure. Various auto companies have air pressure powered cars in development. Although using energy to compress air is less efficient than charging a battery with that same energy, carbon fiber tanks hold the energy better and longer than batteries (most batteries will deplete their charge without external load), are less expensive and less polluting to build, and will last much, much longer than a battery without needing replacement.

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