Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Towards bio-inspired hydrogen production without noble metals

Abstract:
Using hydrogen as an energy vector and in fuel cells may provide solutions to the specific energy challenges of the 21st century. Hydrogen production is currently based on the catalytic properties of "noble" metals such as platinum. For the first time, researchers at the joint Laboratoire de chimie et biologie des métaux (metal chemistry and biology, CEA-CNRS-Université Joseph Fourier, CEA's Grenoble site) have succeeded in producing hydrogen with a molecular system that doesn't require a noble metal catalyst. This outcome has important implications for the financial future of hydrogen energy and was published on 4 January in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Towards bio-inspired hydrogen production without noble metals

France | Posted on January 25th, 2008

Research to improve hydrogen production is based largely on chemical reactions observed during photosynthesis in plants. More specifically, certain micro-organisms produce hydrogen from water with the help of light. To reproduce and adapt these processes, researchers have developed molecular systems capable of both photosensitisation, which captures light energy, and catalysis, which uses the energy collected to liberate hydrogen from water. To date, all the technological systems developed to produce or use hydrogen rely on noble metals(1) such as platinum. But platinum reserves are limited. The metal's scarcity and cost are obstacles to the long-term financial prospects of hydrogen technologies, despite efforts to reduce the quantities used in electrolysers and fuel cells. Current research focuses on alternatives to platinum, by developing catalysts based on metals which are naturally more abundant and less expensive, such as those used by natural organisms (iron, nickel, cobalt, manganese).

A new system has been developed using a cobalt-based catalyst. Supramolecular in nature, it plays the role of both the photosensitiser and the catalyst. With the help of light, the electrons from the organic molecule are used to liberate hydrogen from water. This is catalysed by cobalt with greater efficiency than comparable systems using noble metals (Pd, Rh and Pt). Ruthenium is still used as the photosensitiser (Ru, left side of the figure); one of the next steps in this work will be finding an alternative.

While the ultimate goal is still to use water as a proton and electron source (to avoid adding an organic molecule), this outcome represents considerable progress towards the photoproduction of hydrogen.
Notes :

1) Historically, noble metals were the precious metals used to make jewellery (gold, silver, platinum). Chemists define them as metals which do not oxidise easily. Today this term is applied to metals present at low levels in the earth's crust, making them both rare and costly (palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium)

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission)
Stéphane Laveissière
+33 (0 1 64 50 27 53

CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research)
Claire Le Poulennec
+33 (0) 1 44 96 49 88

Université Joseph Fourier
Muriel Jakobiak
+33 (0) 4 76 51 44 98

Copyright © CNRS

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Related News Press

News and information

Ultrasensitive sensor using N-doped graphene July 26th, 2016

The NanoWizard® AFM from JPK is applied for interdisciplinary research at the University of South Australia for applications including smart wound healing and how plants can protect themselves from toxins July 26th, 2016

Accurate design of large icosahedral protein nanocages pushes bioengineering boundaries: Scientists used computational methods to build ten large, two-component, co-assembling icosahedral protein complexes the size of small virus coats July 25th, 2016

XEI Scientific Partners with Electron Microscopy Sciences to Promote and Sell its Products in North and South America July 25th, 2016

Announcements

Ultrasensitive sensor using N-doped graphene July 26th, 2016

The NanoWizard® AFM from JPK is applied for interdisciplinary research at the University of South Australia for applications including smart wound healing and how plants can protect themselves from toxins July 26th, 2016

Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up: New understanding of concrete’s properties could increase lifetime of the building material, decrease emissions July 25th, 2016

XEI Scientific Partners with Electron Microscopy Sciences to Promote and Sell its Products in North and South America July 25th, 2016

Energy

Designing climate-friendly concrete, from the nanoscale up: New understanding of concrete’s properties could increase lifetime of the building material, decrease emissions July 25th, 2016

An accelerated pipeline to open materials research: ORNL workflow system unites imaging, algorithms, and HPC to advance materials discovery and design July 24th, 2016

Researchers discover key mechanism for producing solar cells: Better understanding of perovskite solar cells could boost widespread use July 21st, 2016

The future of perovskite solar cells has just got brighter -- come rain or shine: Korean researchers at POSTECH have succeeded in developing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells that retain excellent performance over two months in a very humid condition July 21st, 2016

Fuel Cells

3-D paper-based microbial fuel cell operating under continuous flow condition July 5th, 2016

Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool': Rapid discovery power is similar to what gene chips offer biology June 25th, 2016

VentureLab nanotechnology startup wins TechConnect Innovation Award June 2nd, 2016

Tiny probe could produce big improvements in batteries and fuel cells: A new method helps scientists get an atom's level understanding of electrochemical properties June 1st, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




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











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic