My watch list
my.chemeurope.com  
Login  

Producing hydrogen from water with carbon/charcoal powder

03-Sep-2013

In the latest advance in efforts to find an inexpensive way to make hydrogen from ordinary water — one of the keys to the much-discussed "hydrogen economy" — scientists are reporting that powder from high-grade charcoal and other forms of carbon can free hydrogen from water illuminated with laser pulses. A report on the discovery appears in ACS' Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

Ikuko Akimoto and colleagues point out that traditional approaches to breaking down water, which consists of hydrogen and oxygen, involve use of expensive catalysts or electric current passed through water. Since economical production of hydrogen from water could foster a transition from coal, oil and other fossil fuels, scientists have been searching for less expensive catalysts. Those materials speed up chemical reactions that otherwise would not work effectively. Based on hints from research decades ago, the scientists decided to check out the ability of carbon powder and charcoal powder, which are inexpensive and readily available, to help split hydrogen gas from oxygen in water.

Akimoto's team tested carbon and charcoal powders by adding them to water and beaming a laser in nanosecond pulses at the mixtures. The experiment generated hydrogen at room temperature without the need for costly catalysts or electrodes. Its success provides an alternative, inexpensive method for producing small amounts of hydrogen from water.

Facts, background information, dossiers
More about American Chemical Society
  • News

    Mimicking bug eyes could brighten reflective signs and clothes

    That bright, reflective coating used on road signs, bicycles and clothing are important safety measures at night. They help drivers get to their destinations while avoiding bicyclists and pedestrians in low-light conditions. Now, inspired by the structure of insect eyes, scientists have dev ... more

    Rewritable material could help reduce paper waste

    Even in today's digital age, the world still relies on paper and ink, most of which ends up in landfills or recycling centers. To reduce this waste, scientists have now developed a low-cost, environmentally friendly way to create printed materials with rewritable paper. Their report on the ... more

    Shining a light on damage within polymers

    When it comes to even the most advanced materials, the adage "if it does not bend, it breaks" is often true. But before that final snap, most materials experience microscopic damage that could be fixed -- but only if you know it's there. In a study researchers introduce a new technique that ... more

  • Videos

    How Bacteria Make It Rain

    Did you know that the ocean launches bacteria and other goo into the atmosphere? And that those particles can seed clouds? Atmospheric chemist Kimberly Prather of UCSD and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography drops some serious knowledge on us. more

    The Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    In this episode of Speaking of Chemistry, we look at how three molecular machinists earned this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Apologies to our international posse: All times referenced in this video are based on us being in the Eastern Time Zone. more

    Have We Found All The Elements?

    Four elements have been added to the periodic table this year, completing the seventh row. However, these new elements are not naturally occurring. Scientists had to create them and overcome a number of challenges to do so. more

  • Events
    Conference
    22-08 – 26-08
    2021
    Boston, US

    262nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 262nd ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in Boston, US from 2021-08-22 to 2021-08-26. more

    Conference
    21-03 – 25-03
    2021
    San Antonio, US

    261st ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 261st ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in San Antonio, US from 2021-03-21 to 2021-03-25. more

    Conference
    23-08 – 27-08
    2020
    San Francisco, US

    260th ACS National Meeting & Exposition

    The American Chemical Society conference 260th ACS National Meeting & Exposition will take place in San Francisco, US from 2020-08-23 to 2020-08-27. more

Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE