Catalyst could power homes on a bottle of water, produce hydrogen on-site (w/ Video)

Mar 05, 2010 by Lisa Zyga weblog
By mimicking photosynthesis, Sun Catalytix's system can store solar energy in the form of hydrogen. Logo: Sun Catalytix.

(PhysOrg.com) -- With one bottle of drinking water and four hours of sunlight, MIT chemist Dan Nocera claims that he can produce 30 KWh of electricity, which is enough to power an entire household in the developing world. With about three gallons of river water, he could satisfy the daily energy needs of a large American home. The key to these claims is a new, affordable catalyst that uses solar electricity to split water and generate hydrogen.

Using the electricity generated from a 30-square-meter photovoltaic array, Nocera’s cobalt-phosphate catalyst converts water and carbon dioxide into hydrogen and oxygen. The process is similar to organic photosynthesis, except that in nature, plants create energy in the form of sugars instead of hydrogen.

The hydrogen produced through can be stored in a tank and later used to produce electricity by being recombined with oxygen in a fuel cell, even when the sun isn’t shining. Alternatively, the hydrogen can be converted into a .

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

"Almost all the solar energy is stored in ," Nocera said at the first-ever ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) conference last Tuesday. "We emulated photosynthesis for large-scale storage of ."

With his start-up company, Sun Catalytix, Nocera hopes to make the system affordable enough to allow individual homes to generate their own fuel and electricity on-site. By distributing in this way, the new method could potentially solve the problem of hydrogen transportation.

“If I could store the sun in terms of a fuel, then at night when the sun goes down I can use the sun, effectively,” Nocera said in a company video. “What we’ve done is that we’ve made sunlight available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

In January, Sun Catalytix was awarded $4 million in government funding through the new ARPA-E agency. Modeled after DARPA, ARPA-E was formed to promote the development of advanced energy technologies - in this case, “direct solar fuels,” or “electrofuels.” Nocera explained that Sun Catalytix is using the financial support to take its prototype to the next level.

“Where Sun Catalytix is headed is that your house would become its own power station and gas station,” he said in the video. “All of a sudden, you don’t need any more energy from anybody else because you’re using the sun at your house.”

Explore further: Qi wireless charging standard offers more design freedom

More information: www.suncatalytix.com
via: Scientific American

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User comments : 66

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Sky_Marshall
4 / 5 (7) Mar 05, 2010
Finally, clean energy. I just hope it becomes availible for the masses in a reasonable amount of time.Im sure there have been others who have something like that already for their private homes.
Going
3.9 / 5 (8) Mar 05, 2010
It would be nice if this was an economic proposition, but I smell a call for capital investment here.
deatopmg
3.7 / 5 (11) Mar 05, 2010
What is the overall conversion efficiency of light to 2H2 + O2?
How much of the total energy available in the H2 does it take to store (compress) the hydrogen in the "tank"?
Does the catalyst reduce the energy needed to split the H2O to H2 + O?

the big question, is it just another laboratory curiosity or commercially viable? Nothing clarifying any of the questions on the website, nor in the 4 referenced paper abstracts.
Skeptic_Heretic
2.2 / 5 (6) Mar 05, 2010
You can generate about 30kWh by capturing the energy you expend while sleeping. This is not that interesting. A minor development in catalysts shouldn't be drawing the comments above.
Caliban
3 / 5 (7) Mar 05, 2010
Plus, 30m^2 is a relatively large area- the entire roof of the proposed 3rd world dwelling would have to consist of photovoltaic array. What is really needed is several orders-of-magnitude more efficient PVs. Then we'd be talking breakthrough.
jimbo92107
4.8 / 5 (10) Mar 05, 2010
Very touchy-feely. When the advertisement is over, I'd love to see some actual information.
ChemEng
5 / 5 (9) Mar 05, 2010
This work was published in Science (the best scientific journal) about 1.5 years ago. I was working on my PhD in photochemistry/ electrochemistry at the time and our group definitely took notice of this work. The efficiency is fairly respectable, but they really don't understand why the catalyst works so efficiently. If they can figure this out, and then optimize it, this has some real potential.
lewando
3.2 / 5 (13) Mar 05, 2010
Humans need to consume about 2 kWh of energy daily. Not sure about how humans are generating 30kWh during sleep. Unless they are not really *sleeping* --hmm, thats a lot of gatorade.
jgelt
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 06, 2010
The moment he said 'robust' it translated as 'hoax', sorry to say...lol
TheTim
4.7 / 5 (7) Mar 06, 2010
Yeah, look into the price of cobalt-phosphate catalysts, and you'll see it's not really a solution to provide power to underdeveloped nations...
magpies
2.7 / 5 (7) Mar 06, 2010
Ok why do under developed nations even need power honestly? Can't they just stay under-developed forever?
Nerys
3.6 / 5 (5) Mar 06, 2010
actually I could care less how efficient it is. I only care about two things. Is it clean (Ie how dirty is the production of the catalyst and can I make it myself) and #2 HOW MUCH PER WATT is the catalyst assuming you already have the solar rig.

IE IS IT CHEAPER. Efficiency of dollars is what matters to me.
Catpro
1.5 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2010
30 square meters=30kw

30kw*4=120kwh

120kwh/30kwh = 25% efficiency for hydrogen generation.

And a lot of water might be generated from the electric generation.

jshloram
1.7 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2010
What is the overall conversion efficiency of light to 2H2 + O2?
How much of the total energy available in the H2 does it take to store (compress) the hydrogen in the "tank"?
Does the catalyst reduce the energy needed to split the H2O to H2 + O?

the big question, is it just another laboratory curiosity or commercially viable? Nothing clarifying any of the questions on the website, nor in the 4 referenced paper abstracts.


Peak solar radiance is 1KW per square meter with the sun directly overhead. 30 Sq meters would be 30 KW. The article says they need 4 hours to produce 30KWh of energy with a 30 Sq meter array. That's 25% conversion efficiency.
CyberRat
3 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2010
If the cost of the hardware would be reasonable and efficiency increased up to 40% it would mean bye bye big energy companies, and even can make your own fuel for your Hydrogen car.... neh they never will allow that.
Aargau
2.7 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2010
Shouldn't there be some new revelatory science behind the article and video? I don't understand why this is a story.
daywalk3r
3.1 / 5 (17) Mar 06, 2010
Nocera’s cobalt-phosphate catalyst converts water and carbon dioxide into hydrogen and oxygen.
I'm surprised noone noticed and commented on this part yet.

Just a thought:
Carbon dioxide being the main "pillar" of the AGW crowd. Water vapour being an even much stronger greenhouse gas. The produced oxygen could be contained aswell for later use (mainly for the reverse process).

When using the hydrogen to generate energy afterwards, the by-products of the process (CO2,water vapour) could be contained aswell. If this was used on a large enough scale and the CO2 stored + water vapour condensed, it could (to a certain level) directly compensate for the human-produced carbon dioxide.

This looks far too good to be true..
Hoax? Or hidden advertisement for an extended arm of the AGW machinery? Or maybe true? Time will tell..

Wether it will be viable or not depends on what it takes to make the cobalt-phosphate catalyst and what the waste products of the used process are, after all..
fourthrocker
3 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2010
30 sq m? Now if only there weren't 6 billion of us we could all have clean power.
Skeptic_Heretic
1 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2010
Ok why do under developed nations even need power honestly? Can't they just stay under-developed forever?
You do realize that the main causes for all the ills of the species come from the third world, don't you?
JimB135
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2010
daywalker3r --

In the reverse process using a fuel cell and hydrogen as the energy source water is created as the byproduct. No C02 produced. So it truly would be clean.
antialias
2.5 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2010
Peak solar radiance is 1KW per square meter with the sun directly overhead. 30 Sq meters would be 30 KW.


Yes. Most of the time it is much less than 1KW per square meter (weather and the 1KW figure is only reached at midday).

Also this supposes that we have solar cells which are 100% efficient (which we don't - far from it). So the 30 sq meter figure goes up accordingly.

Add to that that most people in the cities do not have 30 sq meters of rooftop space (per family) but much less than that (think how much roof space a family has in a skyrise)

That said: If the catalyst is stable over a long period of time then this could be good for making largish solar power plants that store excess energy in hydrogen (or even help to switch over to hydrogen economy altogether).
Shootist
2.9 / 5 (7) Mar 06, 2010
a kilogram of H2 yields 35kWh of electricity. It takes 60kWh of electricity to produce that kilogram.

Unless this MIT feller has rewritten the 2nd law of Thermodynamics . . .
maxcypher
2.7 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2010
Assuming their claims aren't hoaxes, wouldn't this tech and the "Bloom Box" tech work well together?
Nartoon
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 06, 2010
As far as powering homes, I have Natural Gas coming in to my house. Why don't they just perfect the fuel cell to extract hydrogen from the Natural Gas / Methane and use it to heat my house, provide electricity for my house and recharge my electric car?
technicalengeneering
4 / 5 (1) Mar 06, 2010
Maybe it would be usefull to just
Use the solarpower??
you would need to produce the catalist, containers...
seneca
1.8 / 5 (4) Mar 06, 2010
There was myriads of systems for photolysis of water proposed already without any long term impact. A footage of few bubbles of hydrogen means nothing from this perspective. Anyway, hydrogen could be transported from deserts in much easier way, then the electricity at large distances. And it solves problem of accumulation of energy, so such research should be supported definitely.

But I don't see any details about its yield, catalyst stability and basic economical numbers (price tag of energy produced in such way).
bfast
3.5 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2010
Nerys, "HOW MUCH PER WATT is the catalyst assuming you already have the solar rig"

Catalysts, by definition, don't get consumed in the process. You get some catalyst, and keep using it, and using it and using it. As such, its cost is just factored into the cost of your solar rig.
Temple
3 / 5 (2) Mar 06, 2010
When using the hydrogen to generate energy afterwards, the by-products of the process (CO2,water vapour) could be contained aswell. If this was used on a large enough scale and the CO2 stored + water vapour condensed, it could (to a certain level) directly compensate for the human-produced carbon dioxide.


Where's the Carbon coming from? Combusting Hydrogen with Oxygen creates water and energy, no magical alchemy is taking place to produce Carbon.
antialias
5 / 5 (4) Mar 07, 2010
Catalysts, by definition, don't get consumed in the process.


That's not quite true. While the catalist does not get consumed in the reaction the catalyst usually degrades over time. If it is expensive and needs to be replaced ever so often then that might be a drawback

(Conversely fuel cells recombine H2 and O2 without the fuel cell membrane being worn down in the reaction, but the membrane does wear out over time. This is something that still needs to be figured out)

As for the article: making hydrogen and oxygen frome power and water is not exactly new. Everybody should have seen this in school in elementary chemistry class. The article/video doesn't really give any info on what is supposed to be new here.

And no: The process described is NOT similar to photosynthesis. Photosynthesis in plants uses CO2 and water to create sugars (at a dismal energy efficiency of about 3%), not water and energy to create hydrogen.
Bloodoflamb
4 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
What is really needed is several orders-of-magnitude more efficient PVs. Then we'd be talking breakthrough.

What? You want photovoltaics that are more than 100% efficient? Using the provided numbers, we find that the total wattage that their photovoltaics produce is 250Watts/m^2, which is about 25% of the mean power intensity of sunlight that strikes the earth. i.e. these photovoltaics are roughly 25% efficient.

There are other systems that are more efficient, but they're not close to being commercialized yet. Most recently (and I'm talking days), an 80+% efficient photovoltaic has been announced: http://media.calt...es/13325
daqddyo
5 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
What we need is a catalyst that could convert water to H2 and O2 directly from sunlight (or the UV portion thereof). There is no need as suggested earlier to store the O2, just release it into the atmosphere. Stored O2 is more potentially dangerous than stored H2.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
Assuming their claims aren't hoaxes, wouldn't this tech and the "Bloom Box" tech work well together?

Bloom Box runs on Natural gas. They're incompatible technologies.
Fmagyar
3.5 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
Richard Feynman

Sounds a lot like public relations to me! Are they taking into account things like the availability of cobalt and phosphates and the costs associated with their extraction, processing, transport etc... Didn't think so.
Shootist
2.4 / 5 (7) Mar 07, 2010
Assuming their claims aren't hoaxes, wouldn't this tech and the "Bloom Box" tech work well together?

Bloom Box runs on Natural gas. They're incompatible technologies.


bloom boxes will quite happily catalyze pure H2.
otto1923
3 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Assuming their claims aren't hoaxes, wouldn't this tech and the "Bloom Box" tech work well together?

Bloom Box runs on Natural gas. They're incompatible technologies.


bloom boxes will quite happily catalyze pure H2.

http://www.greent...evealed/
"The units run on natural gas, propane, biofuels or diesel which gives them about 48 percent overall efficiency" and
"The present inventors have also realized that the electrochemical system produces valuable byproducts in addition to electricity and hydrogen. The byproducts can include production, consumption, and/or temporary storage of heat, methane, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water."

-So how would they catalyze H2 again?
notaphysicist
3 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Hydrogen is problematic (read flamable or explosive) at mixtures of between 2 and 98 percent in air. Because the molecule is so small sealing any system using it is very difficult and there is no sure-fire warning molecule that can be added to the hydrogen to warn of a possible problem. This announcement does not touch on safety issues, which can literally be killers. While the technology may be promising, I would not want to be the first to put a potential bomb in my basement. These same safety issues are part of why hydrogen has faded as an automotive fuel too I believe.
otto1923
3 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
I would not want to be the first to put a potential bomb in my basement.
Why not? You've got one in your garage. But we wouldn't be putting H2 tech in our basements- see NFPA reqts for this material-
junkyard
5 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
I'm insulted that you are proposing this as "new".

Id be interested to know how you propose to store this hydrogen without needing some sort of cooler compressor and fail safe system, remember, hydrogen is combustible in as low as 4% concentration.

that wasn't supposed to sound so negative...
Bloodoflamb
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
I would not want to be the first to put a potential bomb in my basement.
Why not? You've got one in your garage. But we wouldn't be putting H2 tech in our basements- see NFPA reqts for this material-

Where is the bomb in a person's garage? I certainly hope you're not talking about a car, since gasoline inside of a car's gas tank will not behave as an explosive.
NeilFarbstein
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
Hydrogen is explosive. It might not be suitable to use in residential applications where untrained people might cause big fires.
otto1923
1 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
I would not want to be the first to put a potential bomb in my basement.
Why not? You've got one in your garage. But we wouldn't be putting H2 tech in our basements- see NFPA reqts for this material-

Where is the bomb in a person's garage? I certainly hope you're not talking about a car, since gasoline inside of a car's gas tank will not behave as an explosive.
Hydrogen is explosive. It might not be suitable to use in residential applications where untrained people might cause big fires.
Ever see a cars gas tank explode? I am too lazy at the moment to look up deflagration, detonation, or specific NFPA regs and defs covering H2 and gasoline. Why don't you all do that and learn something new? I think you'll find that both are 'explosive' in a sealed vessel. Gunpowder does not detonate- it burns. And yet it blows up real good in well-designed bombs? Don't worry Neil- the guvmint will tell us exactly how to use all these wonderful new technologies.
otto1923
not rated yet Mar 07, 2010
Here's one:
http://www.youtub...be_gdata
-whoohoo! Don't try this at home!
NeilFarbstein
3 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Nobody advocates keeping tanks of gasoline in their basements to store energy. A lot of people use natural gas but they don't have complex gas compressor equipment. The gas company metres the supply and keeps it at a constant pressure, eliminating a big component of the explosion risk.
The risk of explosions is substantial.
The electrosynthesis of hydrogen in utility scale
solar plants might be feasible.
minimegamonkeyman
5 / 5 (1) Mar 07, 2010
What I find myself wondering is--where do these third-world households get liters of clean water with which to run their TVs? If I have my facts right, much of, say, sub-Saharan Africa has trouble getting enough water to keep themselves hydrated and hygienic, let alone enough to photosynthesize some of it.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
The concept IS rather out of touch with the reality in the very places he suggests it as a solution.....but on the other hand, why not couple with the Bloom unit in small(local), village-scale distribution networks- perhaps if the people didn't have to use every available scrap of vegetation/animal dung for fuel to cook with, et c., maybe the vegetative cover would have a chance to rebound, capture more water,- you know- positive feedback loop? Worth a try, if only on a trial basis. Someone would eventually think to truck in water/fuel- doesn't have to be clean. Might even generate the skeleton of a local-area distribution network node, to serve whatever economy might evolve over time.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
BloodofLamb-
Yeah- a little sloppy there with the terminology.
Hopefully everyone ignored that, and looked for my point: Either much greater efficiency, or much lower cost required, realistically, to implement this tech. Ideal solution would be both, n'est pas?
ormondotvos
5 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
No shortage of pot-shotters here. From the article, the Bloom box is only twice as efficient as a gas turbine at making electricity, but we have sort of reached the limits of engineering efficiency and simplicity into gas turbines. The beauty of the Bloom boxes is the materials and simplicty, even if they need to be refreshed.

The objections to the dangers of hydrogen would sound a lot less like denier wanking if lead acid batteries didn't explode, old ladies' houses didn't explode, furnaces didn't explode, cars didn't burn, dryer lint filters, extension cords under your bedpost. Get the drift?

Alcohol abuse, anyone? Drunk driving?

Let's talk technology, not politics. It's such a dead end.
antialias
5 / 5 (3) Mar 07, 2010
I would not want to be the first to put a potential bomb in my basement.


Why not? If the is leak small then the gas will just move upwards (not pool on the ground like gasoline since it is lighter than air). If your basement is designed to let some air out at the apex then that H2 will simply escape into the atmosphere long before you will get to the 2% mark.

Also note that H2 'explosions' are quite tame. The energy per volume released at one atmosphere pressure (which is what escaped H2 would be at) is dismal. You could fill a whole room at that pressure and ignite it without much more than a noisy 'whoop' and no damage whatsoever to your house (doesn't anyone remember this experiment from chemistry class?)

If ignited the flame does not blow back into the leaky cannister (because it is pressurized). It simply burns off without exploding.
antialias
5 / 5 (2) Mar 07, 2010
Here's a comparison of what happens when a gasoline car and a hydrogen car catch fire. I certainly know which one I'd like to be in. Hydrogen all the way.

http://www.evworl...ryid=482

(for the home owners: as with oil reservoirs you probably would not have that reservoir in your basement but buried in your yard. So a flare off or a leak isn't really a problem. )
Skeptic_Heretic
4 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
Assuming their claims aren't hoaxes, wouldn't this tech and the "Bloom Box" tech work well together?

Bloom Box runs on Natural gas. They're incompatible technologies.


bloom boxes will quite happily catalyze pure H2.

At a huge loss in efficiency. Oxidizer cells are dependent on multistage reactions. The fewer stages, the less efficient the device becomes.
minimegamonkeyman
4 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
The feedstock water should probably be clean, if you don't want to face efficiency drops. I mean, the folks who put together this process were probably using double-distilled water, hm?

If not, then we could solve our energy and sea-level-rise problems simultaneously by sticking a massive input tube into the ocean.
Yevgen
5 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
I would not want to be the first to put a potential bomb in my basement.


You could fill a whole room at that pressure and ignite it without much more than a noisy 'whoop' and no damage whatsoever to your house (doesn't anyone remember this experiment from chemistry class?)


This is an extraordinary misleading statement. In your chemistry class you made sure your hydrogen was pure and had no air left in the mix. Hydrogen/oxigen mix is explosive over extremely wide range of concentrations (4-75%):http://www.engine...23.html. Gasoline is only 4.4-7.6%.
Filling your room with hydrogen will create an extremely explosive mix which is sure to fold your house as a house of cards.
Some demonstrations of clean H2 burning are missing the fact that leaking H2 is likely to accumulate and mix with air rather than by burned right on the outlet.
lengould100
4 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
First, the anti-hydrogen nutters should get educated. If H2 becomes widely available at a lower cost than gasoline or diesel, then it WILL be used, certainly by myself, who is getting nervous about the long-term availability of refills of diesel fuel for the 200 gallon furnace oil tank in my basement.

What puzzles me is the article's reference to CO2. In standard water electrolysis - reuse, CO2 never enters the cycle. Is this system producing methane rather than H2?
antialias
5 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2010
And what do you think we used to make hydrogen explosions in chemistry class? Of course it was a hydrogen oxygen mixture. Pure hydrogen would not have combusted at all.

Hydrogen releases 241.8 kJ of energy per mol

Methane is more than three times that (891 kJ/mol)

Gasoline vapors have about 22 times (!) the energy content of hydrogen vapors.

Since we are talking about what would happen if a hydrogen pipe leaked the "per mol" (which is 22.4 liters for any ideal gas) is relevant since we are then dealing not with a pressurized gas anymore but with one at one atmosphere pressure.

Filling a room with hydrogen and letting it explode is NOT going to fold your house

Here's a video of a balloon full of the stuff exploding (i.e. already somewhat preesurized which we wouldn't even have in our case). It doesn't explode with much force.

http://www.youtub...YhJ2jHWw
ricarguy
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2010
What they are describing in the article as a "solar energy" breakthrough is only an energy storage technique which doesn't care where the electricity from.

Agreeing with jshloram's calculations above, overall they are talking a 25% efficiency. Since you can't get something from nothing, that means that the solar panels must be significantly greater than 25% efficiency.

So how is this better than charging batteries from a PV array? It sounds worse than something that's already not very cost effective (yet). Hydrogen is not the most friendly energy storage medium from the point of view of implementation cost or safety.

As much as we are being programmed to dislike them, hydro-carbons have a lot going for them.
antialias
5 / 5 (3) Mar 08, 2010
Wanted to add this:

now contrast this with a gas baloon exploding
http://www.youtub...RK4JfnEA

see the difference?
FastEddy
2.2 / 5 (5) Mar 08, 2010
ricarguy: " What they are describing in the article as a "solar energy" breakthrough is only an energy storage technique which doesn't care where the electricity from. ..."

Yes. Just an incremental improvement at that, but certainly worthy of exploration and further study: Catalytic electrolysis of water into Hydrogen and Oxygen is not new, certainly, but the use of chemist Dan Nocera's new catalyst may be.

Yes, the originating source of power, Solar photovoltaic cells, is nothing new nor improved, and really just clouds the real science in this article, thus my 2 start rating for the overall story, but I would give much higher marks for the "red meat".
Poshhhh
1 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
You will have a tough time getting water out of the great lakes states for things like this. The local mafia (aka Michigan mafia) have made it clear that anyone using water out the lakes will be faced with more than what they can handle. It would drain the lakes so fast. The world needs the lakes for drinking.
arrowrod
1 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
OK..
From the previous posters, I would assume that the technology in this article is a hoax. ARPA-E was duped.
By the way, 30 square meters is 18 feet by 18 feet.
I believe a lot of people on the planet have this much space available.
otto1923
3 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
If your basement is designed to let some air out at the apex then that H2 will simply escape
Someone with halp a clue.
Filling your room with hydrogen will create an extremely explosive mix which is sure to fold your house as a house of cards.
Filling your room with hydrogen will create an extremely explosive mix which is sure to fold your house as a house of cards. Again, there are regulations for the storage and transport and use of H2 and other flammable gases which have been compiled over GENERATIONS OF EXPERIENCE with these materials. This includes the proper design and venitlation of spaces where theyre used. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has compiled these regs for adoption by the appropriate jurisictions. These regs would be updated in the event that these materials found further use in the home. Yevgen- does this make sense to you? You cook your food over an open fire in your living room or something?? My apologies if you do-
otto1923
2 / 5 (1) Mar 08, 2010
A little garbled but you get my point. Otto has many clues.

@Skeptic Heretic
At a huge loss in efficiency. Oxidizer cells are dependent on multistage reactions. The fewer stages, the less efficient the device becomes.
The present inventors have also realized that the electrochemical system produces valuable byproducts in addition to electricity and hydrogen. The byproducts can include production, consumption, and/or temporary storage of heat, methane, carbon dioxide, oxygen, and water."

-So how would they catalyze H2 again?
Are you saying that a Bloom box catalyst would also run backwards, combining H2 and O2? I'm confused.
antialias
5 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2010
You can get a hydrogen explosion to do damage if you're really unlucky, have bad containment design or are plain stupid (or you use a _lot_ of hydrogen) like here:
http://www.powerm...857.html

The gray box at the bottom, however, should clear up any false sense of dread peop�le have towards hydrogen. Natural gas/gasoline are _much_ more dangerous and we have no compunction about having them in our homes/cars.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2010
Are you saying that a Bloom box catalyst would also run backwards, combining H2 and O2? I'm confused.

No, no. Someone suggested coupling the above tech with a Bloom Box. The BB is just an oxidizer cell (a super efficient one at that), and as such would yield a paltry amount of energy release out of an 2H2 O2 -> 2H2O reaction.
Javinator
4 / 5 (1) Mar 09, 2010
I couldn't find anything on the website or in the cited articles on the website about using "water and CO2 to make hydrogen and oxygen" so I don't know where that came from.

The abstracts to the articles on the SunCatalytix webpage made mention of this catalyst producing an H2 equivalent from a proton accepting hydrogen phosphate rather than actually evolving H2 gas.

Is CO2 somehow involved in the production of H2 from this H2 equivalent? I don't have journal subscriptions available to me like I did when I was a student so if anyone could clarify I'd appreciate it.
Katrina_Churion
not rated yet Mar 09, 2010
You can store hydrogen in such a way that it doesn't pose an explosion hazard. This is already done by United Nuclear for use in their hydrogen fuel system for cars. I am not saying it'll work for this, all I'm saying is maybe it could be worked out so that regular people feel safe storing it in their homes.
redneck_ca
not rated yet Mar 15, 2010
"converts water and carbon dioxide into hydrogen and oxygen."
Please explain how H20 and CO2 can be converted into H2 and O2. The author needs a lesson in chemistry unless the carbon breaks down into hydrogen through fission or through fission combines with hydrogen atoms to form oxygen. Maybe it is the fission or fusion that provided the energy.
This the third article on physorg that I have looked at today that indicates the authors grasp of science is negligible. Does anyone who has passed high school physics or chemistry look at this "stuff" before it is posted?