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Catalyst that makes hydrogen gas breaks speed record
Date:8/12/2011

water around, so they added water to the reaction to see how it would perform. The catalyst ran three times as fast, creating more than 100,000 hydrogen molecules every second. The researchers think the water might help by moving protons to a more advantageous spot on the pendant amine, but they are still studying the details.

Their catalyst has a drawback, however. It's fast, but it's not efficient. The catalyst runs on electricity -- after all, it needs those electrons to stuff into the chemical bonds -- but it requires more electricity than practical, a characteristic called the overpotential.

Bullock says the team has some ideas on how to reduce the inefficiency. Also, future work will require assembling a catalyst that splits water in addition to making hydrogen gas. Even with a high overpotential, the researchers see high potential for this catalyst.


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Contact: Mary Beckman
mary.beckman@pnnl.gov
509-375-3688
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert  

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