Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. "It turned out that it can," he says. By using electrolysis, hydrogen gas could be created from excess electricity generated by large renewable electricity projects. The push coincides with the the release of a Geoscience Australia report naming the country as a future "world leader" in the field. . Hydrogen-fueled buses are now on the road in Brazil, and South Korea and Japan have already demonstrated a strong commitment to adopting hydrogen-powered vehicles and hydrogen as their main energy carrier. Questions? Dr. Simonov describes the system he's developing with his team as "self-healing." University of Houston. First author Luo Yu, a postdoctoral researcher at UH who is also affiliated with Central China Normal University, said the new oxygen evolution reaction catalyst was paired with a previously reported hydrogen evolution reaction catalyst of nickle-molybdenum-nitride nanorods. Dr. Simonov and Professor MacFarlane are also collaborating with an emerging Australian company, ANT Energy Solutions, which is developing a portable hydrogen electrolyzer with funding from the Cooperative Research Centres Program. Zhifeng Ren, director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH and a corresponding author for the paper, said a major obstacle has been the lack of a catalyst that can effectively split seawater to produce hydrogen without also setting free ions of sodium, chlorine, calcium and other components of seawater, which once freed can settle on the catalyst and render it inactive. Until recently, the cost of electricity has been a roadblock to producing industrial quantities of hydrogen gas through electrolysis. University of Houston. Dr. Simonov and his team are working to achieve this goal with Monash chemistry Professor Douglas MacFarlane and collaborators from Australian National University, Professor Antonio Tricoli and Professor Yun Liu. "We've demonstrated their stability in very strongly acidic conditions and up to 80°C, which is an industrially relevant temperature. Cell voltages required to produce a current density of 100 milliamperes per square centimeter (a measure of current density, or mA cm-2) ranged from 1.564 V to 1.581 V. The voltage is significant, Yu said, because while a voltage of at least 1.23 V is required to produce hydrogen, chlorine is produced at a voltage of 1.73 V, meaning the device had to be able to produce meaningful levels of current density with a voltage between the two levels. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen presents an alternative to fossil fuels, but purified water is a precious resource. The content is provided for information purposes only. But although hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it doesn’t naturally occur in large quantities as a gas on Earth. ScienceDaily shares links with sites in the. Another obstacle is that efficiently splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen gases has required rare and expensive metal catalysts such as platinum and iridium. Financial support for ScienceDaily comes from advertisements and referral programs, where indicated. Anderson Chair Professor of physics at UH, said it also would work with wastewater, providing another source of hydrogen from water that is otherwise unusable without costly treatment. and Terms of Use. Researchers say the device, composed of inexpensive non-noble metal nitrides, manages to avoid many of the obstacles that have limited earlier attempts to inexpensively produce hydrogen or safe drinking water from seawater. "If you increase the temperature while running water electrolysis, the iridium-based catalyst will dissolve and you lose it," explains Dr. Alexandr Simonov from the Monash School of Chemistry. In addition to Ren and Yu, researchers on the paper include Qing Zhu, Shaowei Song, Brian McElhennyy, Dezhi Wang, Chunzheng Wu, Zhaojun Qin, Jiming Bao and Shuo Chen, all of UH; and Ying Yu of Central China Normal University. The race is on to find cheap, efficient, non-polluting ways of generating and storing hydrogen. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. But more advanced and efficient technology uses an acidic environment, using solid-state electrolytes—unfortunately, the catalysts can't withstand this environment for long. Hydrogen is already being used in this way in the northern hemisphere, Dr. Simonov says. This goal is also being explored by Dr. Simonov and colleagues within the Monash Ammonia Project led by Professor MacFarlane. Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Researchers say the device, composed of inexpensive non-noble metal nitrides, manages to avoid many of the obstacles that have limited earlier attempts to inexpensively produce hydrogen or safe drinking water from seawater. Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader: Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks: Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Zhifeng Ren, director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH and a corresponding author for the paper, said a major obstacle has been the lack of a catalyst that can effectively split seawater to produce hydrogen without also setting free ions of sodium, chlorine, calcium and other components of seawater, which once freed can settle on the catalyst and render it inactive. Anderson Chair Professor of physics, said the new catalyst allows researchers to avoid many of the obstacles that have stymied the widespread use of seawater to produce hydrogen. Researchers from the University of Houston have reported a significant breakthrough with a new oxygen evolution reaction catalyst that, combined with a hydrogen evolution reaction catalyst, achieved current densities capable of supporting industrial demands while requiring relatively low voltage to start seawater electrolysis. But although hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it doesn't naturally occur in large quantities as a gas on Earth. Holds Promise for Large-Scale Hydrogen Production, Desalination. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is funding further research, with the goal of producing greater efficiencies and developing a scalable electrode fabrication process, suitable for industry. Medical Xpress covers all medical research advances and health news, Tech Xplore covers the latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, Science X Network offers the most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web. The work is described in Nature Communications. This hydrogen could be used as a fuel within Australia and exported to countries hungry for fossil fuels alternatives. To split water into hydrogen and oxygen, two reactions are needed - one for each element. All rights reserved. It can also go into other components of your electrolytic device, contaminating them and preventing them from proper operation.". "But the availability of clean freshwater is limited.". We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. ©2020 University of Houston. But although hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, it …