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University of Houston physicists have found a new way of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen which could be an effective method of producing an abundance of clean hydrogen fuel in the future.
This discovery would solve one of the primary hurdles of using water to produce hydrogen.
“Hydrogen is the cleanest primary energy source we have on Earth.
Water could be the most abundant source of hydrogen if one could separate the hydrogen from its strong bond with oxygen in the water by using a catalyst.
The catalyst is made up of a ferrous metaphosphate and a conductive nickel foam platform, a combination of materials is more efficient and less expensive than existing solutions.
It also shows impressive durability in tests, operating for more than 20 hours and 10,000 cycles without a glitch .
Using the new method hydrogen can be produced without creating waste carbon.
Its monatomic form (H) is the most abundant chemical substance in the Universe, constituting roughly 75% of all baryonic mass.
Non-remnant stars are mainly composed of hydrogen in the plasma state.
The most common isotope of hydrogen, termed protium (name rarely used, symbol 1H), has one proton and no neutrons.
Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, nonmetallic, highly combustible diatomic gas with the molecular formula H2.
hydrogen readily forms covalent compounds with most nonmetallic elements, most of the hydrogen on Earth exists in molecular forms such as water or organic compounds.
Hydrogen plays a particularly important role in acid–base reactions because most acid-base reactions involve the exchange of protons between soluble molecules.
In ionic compounds, hydrogen can take the form of a negative charge (i.e., anion) when it is known as a hydride, or as a positively charged (i.e., cation) species denoted by the symbol H+.
Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel when burned with oxygen (if one considers water not as an emission) or used in a contained cell (allowing to react galvanically) also capable of ‘reversing’ the reaction if needed. It often uses electrochemical cells, or combustion in internal engines, to power vehicles and electric devices. It is also used in the propulsion of spacecraft and might potentially be mass-produced and commercialized for passenger vehicles and aircraft.
Hydrogen fuel can provide motive power for liquid-propellant rockets, cars, boats and airplanes, portable fuel cell applications or stationary fuel cell applications, which can power an electric motor.
The problems of using hydrogen fuel in cars arise from the fact that hydrogen is difficult to store in either a high pressure tank or a cryogenic tank.