Water splitting advance holds promise for affordable renewable energy
Currently the most popular system used for water splitting, or water electrolysis, relies on precious metals as catalysts, but a collaborative research team, including scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Washington State University, has developed a system that uses less expensive and more abundant materials.
The research team worked to solve this problem by splitting water under alkaline, or basic conditions with an anion exchange membrane electrolyzer. This type of electolyzer does not need a catalyst based on precious metals. In fact, a team led by Yuehe Lin, professor at WSU's School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, created a catalyst based on nickel and iron, elements that are less expensive and more abundant in the environment.
In the future, splitting water into its parts may could help make renewable energy pay off, even when the sun isn't shining and the wind isn't blowing.
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