Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


Home > News > Nanotechnology bio-hybrids could lead to clean hydrogen production

November 23rd, 2007

Nanotechnology bio-hybrids could lead to clean hydrogen production

Just because hydrogen is a clean fuel doesn't mean that hydrogen production is a clean process. As more and more companies and investors jump onto the 'cleantech' bandwagon, hydrogen occupies an important place in this vision of a sustainable, carbon-free, and non-polluting energy future. If you look closer though, you'll find that we are not always told the full story about "clean" hydrogen. The U.S. department of Energy's Hydrogen Energy Roadmap foresees up to 90% of hydrogen production coming from fossil fuels - coal, gas, oil. In other words, a clean fuel is produced by the same dirty fuel that is causing all the problems we are facing today (read more in our recent Spotlight: Nanotechnology could clean up the hydrogen car's dirty little secret). Hydrogen can be produced in a clean way, of course, but the greatest challenge to clean hydrogen production is cost - so far, the cheapest way today to produce hydrogen is from fossil fuels. And as long as the political will and the resulting large-scale funding isn't there, this won't change. Unfortunately, large-scale deployment of artificial water-splitting technologies looks unlikely given the need for large amounts of expensive precious metals - such as platinum, which currently cost about $45,000 per kilogram, and which will become scarce at some point in the future - required to catalyze the multi electron water-splitting reactions. Intriguingly, there are mechanism of biological hydrogen activation found in nature and researchers have identified several microbes that can activate the dihydrogen bond through the catalytic activity of hydrogenases (enzymes that play a vital role in anaerobic metabolism). Scientists hope that these proteins could one day serve as catalysts for hydrogen production and oxidation in fuel cells. So far, their efforts have been hampered by the difficulty of incorporating these enzymes into electrical devices because the enzymes do not form good electrical connections with fuel cell components. New research now demonstrates the first successful electrical connection between a carbon nanotube and hydrogenase.


Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Scientists design a QKD-based quantum private query with no failure November 25th, 2015

MIT mathematicians identify limits to heat flow at the nanoscale: New formula identifies limits to nanoscale heat transfer, may help optimize devices that convert heat to electricity November 25th, 2015

Physicists explain the unusual behavior of strongly disordered superconductors: Using a theory they developed previously, the scientists have linked superconducting carrier density with the quantum properties of a substance November 25th, 2015

Scientists 'see' detailed make-up of deadly toxin for the first time: Exciting advance provides hope for developing novel potential method of treating pneumococcal diseases such as bacterial pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia November 25th, 2015


Tandem solar cells are simply better: Higher efficiency thanks to perovskite magic crystal November 24th, 2015

ORNL microscopy captures real-time view of evolving fuel cell catalysts November 21st, 2015

NREL research identifies increased potential for perovskites as a material for solar cells November 21st, 2015

Plasma Focus Device Applied to Produce Zinc Oxide Nanofilms November 18th, 2015

Fuel Cells

ORNL microscopy captures real-time view of evolving fuel cell catalysts November 21st, 2015

Application of Nanocomposite Membranes in Fuel Cells to Produce Green Energy November 18th, 2015

Rice news release: Cobalt atoms on graphene a powerful combo: Rice University catalyst holds promise for clean, inexpensive hydrogen production October 22nd, 2015

Unveiling distribution of defects in proton conductors: A new strategy to open a practical use of IT-SOFCs October 21st, 2015

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

Car Brands
Buy website traffic