Researchers Discover New Catalyst Comprising Of Phosphorus, Sulfur and Cobalt

Researchers Discover New Catalyst Comprising Of Phosphorus, Sulfur and Cobalt photo Researchers Discover New Catalyst Comprising Of Phosphorus, Sulfur and Cobalt

Due to the fact that previously Hydrogen was produced by separating water with electrical power, this new way of doing it could also be used to store more energy. Jin and his students Miguel Cabán-Acevedo and Michael Stone discovered the new high-performance catalyst by replacing iron to make cobalt pyrite, and then added phosphorus.

Current technology has not been able to create hydrogen in a cost-effective way, but rather relies on expensive noble metals such as platinum for splitting the water & generating hydrogen.

Using sulfur and phosphorus in combination with cobalt is the low-costalternative for the fast-forward path to a hydrogen-based economy in the future.

One of the primary means of producing hydrogen is by separating water with electrical power and though water is readily available, the major hurdle that increases the cost of hydrogen fuel is the need for noble metals like platinum, palladium, iridium and gold in the water-splitting devices as catalyst.

Yet, they are incredibly expensive and the production of hydrogen fuel would be too costly for developers to support it. Not according to Song Jin, chemistry expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who claims he has invented a cheap catalyst.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have come up with a hydrogen-making catalyst containing common metals phosphorus and sulfur, and cobalt, a metal that is 1,000 times cheaper than platinum.

There are a number of researchers that are trying to find a cheap replacement for platinum. “Because this new catalyst is so much better and so close to the performance of platinum, we immediately asked WARF (the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation) to file a provisional patent, which they did in just two weeks”.

The catalyst has only been tested in the lab so far, and its cost must be compared to that of the entire system. What’s more, the catalyst also works as a photocatalyst, meaning it can kick start a reaction using energy provided by the sun directly, as reported in Nature Materials.

However, now, researchers from Wisconsin say that the breakthrough they have could make this alternative fuel significantly more affordable.

“If you want to make a dent in the global warming problem, you have to think big”, Jin said. Irrespective of whether we imagine producing hydrogen direct from sunlight or using electricity, we need several square miles with appropriate devices to garner that quantum of hydrogen.



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