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Chinese chemists report catalyst for making hydrogen from water and light.

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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 05:19 PM
Original message
Chinese chemists report catalyst for making hydrogen from water and light.
Edited on Sat Mar-26-05 05:28 PM by NNadir
"The concept of utilizing water splitting to provide H2 was proposed as early as the time of Jules Verne.1 In 1972, the Honda and Fujishima results2,3 suggested that such a dream is achievable. Based on Bards concept4 that when the semiconductor electrode and metal counter electrode have been brought into contact in
single particle, it can be pictured as a short-circuited photoelectrochemical cell. As a method for the direct conversion of photon energy to chemical energy and for energy storage similar to photosynthesis, the photocatalytic hydrogen production from water using semiconductor photocatalysts has been investigated in considerable detail.5,6 Recently, doping TiO2 with nonmetal atoms has received a lot of attention.7-14 Zhao found that doping improvement of oxidation properties of TiO2 for organics under visible irradiation.13a In the meantime, Li found Be doping could enhance the photocatalytic hydrogen generation rate with electron donors.13b Salt lakes are widely distributed and easily available on the earth, in which borate was concentrated to a very high bulk concentration especially to a super-saturation and existed mainly in the form of tetraborate B4O7 2-. Since reduction properties variation of TiO2 by boron doping is lacking and important impact of hydrogen generation via solar irradiation, we carried out a detailed investigation of the effect of borate doping on the reduction properties of H2O to H2 on TiO2. In the present study, we report a new photocatalyst, Ptx-/TiO2-yBy, prepared by impregnation of the B4O7 2- anion on TiO2. Our findings indicate that incorporationof B into Pt/TiO2 results in a negative shift of Pt binding energy and the efficient reduction of H+ to H2 even in the absence of sacrificial electron donors. It was found that the B4O7 2- anion in solution is an efficient promoter for water reduction. Moreover, it was found that the interval illumination might enhance the rate of hydrogen evolution...."

From the upcoming issue of Energy and Fuels.
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mikehiggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 05:25 PM
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1. Uh oh! If this is true, kiss your oil stocks goodbye
Even big oil can't stifle the Chinese if they get a leg up on new energy technology. They don't have the historic need to depend on oil and it they can stick it to the West along the way towards green energy independence, all the better.

Oh, what interesting times we live in, as the Chinese also say.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. This is an encouraging result, but it's still bench top chemistry.
As anyone who has been involved in the commercialization of bench top chemistry knows, it's a long way from a laboratory system to a commercial system.

That the photocatalytic splitting of water is possible has been known since the elucidation of the mechanism of photosynthesis. This is the equivalent of people being aware of the fact that objects heavier than air can fly by observing that birds are heavier than air. Even though people were aware of this for centuries, and even though they made strides at understanding the principles by which it worked, it was a long time before your average Joe could fly anywhere.

The possibility that this is a workable and even scalable system has no bearing whatsoever on the immediacy of the emergency we face. The widespread installation of this technology will likely require more time than we have unless we act now.
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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 05:37 PM
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4. Sad to say, we could have been investing in this research 30 years ago...
Think of the possibilities of running on limitless energy supply? Think of the competitive advantage. But no, we had to have Big Oil run our government....and run us down. I think you are right about China's ability to move quickly on new energy adaption. One ony has to look at their leapfrogging of hard wired phone systems into the digital cellular age to see how adaption can happy relatively quickly.

If this energy technology is real, this seals China's rise as a 21st Century power. We'll probably have to bomb them soon.
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papau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 05:30 PM
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2. "interval illumination may enhance the rate of hydrogen evolution"????
interesting - but I'd hold on to the oil stocks for a while
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 05:37 PM
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5. Sonoluminescent fusion sounds as promising.
I think I'll hold my oil stocks a while more, also. ;D
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-26-05 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Hold them..... and look at these....
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