April 6, 2009
Metal heats up water splitting
Heat up the right metal-bearing molecule
and you can generate hydrogen from water using sunlight.
Water splitting has the potential to cleanly generate hydrogen
for fuel, but a lot of research remains before water splitting can
be made practical.
The metal complex water splitting technique uses a molecule
that contains a ruthenium atom at its center. Adding water to the
molecule and heating it to 25 degrees Celsius alters the molecule,
and then heating it to 100 degrees Celsius alters the molecule again
and releases hydrogen molecules. Exposing the molecule to light at
this point releases oxygen molecules and converts the molecule back
to its starting configuration.
The molecule provides a simple solution to the difficult oxygen-generating
half of the water splitting cycle.
Systems that use sunlight for the heat and light steps of
the process could cleanly generate hydrogen.
Thermal H2 and Light-Induced O2 Evolution from Water Promoted by a
Science, April 3, 2009
J. W. Shimon
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State's Craig Grimes -- Q&A with leading water-splitting researcher
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April 6, 2009
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