Novel catalyst raises hope of storing renewable energy

Novel catalyst raises hope of storing renewable energy

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“Chemical engineering Professor Thomas Jaramillo and his research associate Jakob Kibsgaard created a catalyst that could help make large amounts of pure hydrogen through electrolysis (the method of running electricity through water to sput hydrogen from oxygen found in water molecules). They aim to use electrolysis to produce hydrogen (H2) from water and use the process to help store solar energy, but made more efficient with a catalyst. Their work published in Angewandte Chemie, detailed a version of molybdenum
sulfide (molybdenum phosphosulfide) – a cheap, durable and efficient catalyst that they think could replace platinum in this process. Molybdenum sulfide is widely used in the petrochemical industries and has some similar properties to platinum but it is considerably cheaper. The team’s work also used another petroleum industry method, scrubbing the sulphur out of fuels to stop acid rain. This process results in sulfur atoms getting integrated into petroleum processing catalysts, improving their efficiency.

Thus the researchers added sulphur atoms to a catalyst known as molybdenum phosphide, which created a new catalyst called molybdenum phosphosulfide, which proved to be extremely effective in producing hydrogen.