14 Aug '11, 11pm

Nickel catalysts aim to boost hydrogen fuel cells

Scientists in America have moved a step closer to creating energy-storing hydrogen quickly and cost effectively by using a synthetic catalyst based on natural nickel enzymes. Researchers from the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) say they have broken the speed record for producing hydrogen using the experimental catalyst. Traditional hydrogen production processes use catalysts that rely on expensive metals such as platinum. Nickel is cheaper and more abundant, but is too weak to be used in its original form. Copying natural energy storage reactions, the researchers wanted to recreate the final part of the process, in which two hydrogen atoms are snapped together using a protein called hydrogenase as a catalyst. The catalyst dismantles atoms then moves the resulting electrons into the right positions so they can be put back together in a...

Full article: http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2101522/nickel-catal...

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