Major Solar Power Breakthrough at MIT!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Sounds very promising for both solar and hydrogen economies!

    Utilizes abundant materials in neutral water under ambient conditions.

    Here's the abstract from Science published today:

    <TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Published Online July 31, 2008
    Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1162018
    Science Express Index

    Submitted on June 19, 2008
    Accepted on July 18, 2008

    In Situ Formation of an Oxygen-Evolving Catalyst in Neutral Water Containing Phosphate and Co2+
    Matthew W. Kanan 1 and Daniel G. Nocera 1*
    1 Department of Chemistry, 6-335, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139–4307, USA.

    * To whom correspondence should be addressed.
    Daniel G. Nocera , E-mail:

    The utilization of solar energy on a large scale requires its storage. In natural photosynthesis, energy from sunlight is used to rearrange the bonds of water to O2 and H2-equivalents. The realization of artificial systems that perform similar "water splitting" requires catalysts that produce O2 from water without the need for excessive driving potentials. Here, we report such a catalyst that forms upon the oxidative polarization of an inert indium tin oxide electrode in phosphate-buffered water containing Co2+. A variety of analytical techniques indicates the presence of phosphate in an approximate 1:2 ratio with cobalt in this material. The pH dependence of the catalytic activity also implicates HPO42– as the proton acceptor in the O2-producing reaction. This catalyst not only forms in situ from earth-abundant materials but also operates in neutral water under ambient conditions.

    Amazing what can be done when there is research money available for alternative energy research...
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