02 Sep '11, 2pm

Cheap alloy could produce zero-carbon hydrogen from sunlight:

An inexpensive combination of two metals common in the manufacture of computer chips can generate hydrogen from water, using only sunlight as an energy source. If the process can be made commercially viable -- and the simplicity and cost suggests it might -- it would mean yet another way to produce energy directly from sunlight, and a potential source of hydrogen for the kind of fuel cells that power both buildings and vehicles. Everyone said it couldn't be done, that it didn't have the "right arrangement of electrons," but scientists at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville proved them wrong. They combined antimony (Sb) and gallium nitride (GaN) after a sophisticated computer model suggested the alloy of the two substances could work, even though previous experience suggested it wouldn't. (The alloy, sadly, is not baNGS. The computer didn’t sign off ...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-09-02-cheap-alloy-could-pr...

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