Highly efficient catalyst for sun-powered hydrogen production

11-Jun-2013 - Spain

Research reports a highly efficient catalyst that enables an industrial reaction to produce hydrogen to be carried out at ambient temperature using only the power of sunlight. Hydrogen has generated a great deal of interest as a clean and efficient energy alternative to fossil fuels.

Scientists in Spain showed that gold nanoparticles supported on TiO2 could efficiently catalyse the water gas shift reaction, which converts carbon monoxide and water from steam reformation of methane into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, using light irradiation. The scientists tested a variety of TiO2 and CeO2 catalysts and showed that the TiO2/Au catalyst produced more than 10,500 µmol hydrogen per gram – more than twice the amount of the next most efficient catalyst.

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