May 27, 2012
Hydrogen gas offers one of the most promising sustainable energy alternatives to limited fossil fuels. But traditional methods of producing pure hydrogen face significant challenges in unlocking its full potential, either by releasing harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere or requiring rare and expensive chemical elements such as platinum.
Now, scientists at Brookhaven have developed a new electrocatalyst that addresses one of these problems by generating hydrogen gas from water cleanly and with more affordable materials. In this new catalyst, nickel takes the place of platinum, metallic molybdenum is introduced to enhance reactivity, and nitrogen is added to alter the electronic states of the nickel-molybdenum combination.
The novel form of catalytic nickel-molybdenum-nitride surprised scientists with its high-performing nanosheet structure, introducing a new model for effective hydrogen catalysis. The nanosheet structures offer highly accessible reactive sites and therefore more reaction potential.
While this catalyst does not represent a complete solution to the challenge of creating affordable hydrogen gas, it does offer a major reduction in the cost of essential equipment. More information
2012-3111 | INT/EXT | Media & Communications Office
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