MIT Splits Water with Sunlight

Blog Commentary

According to a report in The Chemical Engineer Today , two scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, chemistry professor Daniel Nocera and postdoctoral fellow Matthew Kanansay, say they have developed a practical way of generating plentiful supplies of hydrogen gas to power cars, houses etc."

According to the report:

Their discovery hinges on a novel cobalt/phosphate catalyst that forms a film on the anode which in turn cleaves the oxygen from water when a current runs through it. A conventional platinum catalyst produces hydrogen at the cathode. The process works at room temperature, uses water at neutral pH, and is easy to set up, raising hopes that it will be straightforward to develop and scale up, and hopefully economic to run at large scale.

 According to Nocera, "This is the nirvana of what we’ve been talking about for years. Solar power has always been a limited, far-off solution. Now we can seriously think about solar power as unlimited and soon."

Star Trek’s Spock would say, "Fascinating."