Stanford discovers cheap way to produce hydrogen 24/7

  • Quote

    Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe, but we have a surprisingly tough time making it here on Earth. See, it’s only common when you take into account stars and water, both of which have plenty of hydrogen. Since hydrogen is seen as a potential replacement for fossil fuels, there’s huge interest in finding a viable method of production. Scientists atStanford might have figured out a way.

    Graduate student Haotian Wang and professor Yi Cui took inspiration from lithium-ion battery technology to develop a new way to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This is a type of electrolysis, which is already used to generate hydrogen, but the main difference here is that it’s efficient and cheap enough to run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Splitting water usually requires two different catalyst materials — one for the anode and one for the cathode. This increases the cost and complexity of the system as the electrolytes need to be separated by a pH barrier of some sort to function. The new Stanford water splitter simply uses two nickel-iron oxide catalysts that can be right next to each other. When supplied with 1.5 volts of electricity, the system operates at 82% efficiency, which is far higher than traditional water electrolysis.


    So what about the battery technology? Wang and Cui used a technique common in battery research called lithium-induced electrochemical tuning to make the catalyst material more conductive and stable. Lithium ions were used to break down the catalyst into smaller particles, which means more surface area exposed to the water and more active sites for catalyzing the water-splitting reaction.

    This process has only been tested on the small scale so far, but future research may be able to put it to use generating usable volumes of hydrogen.


  • Three points:
    1) Iron was present in the Lugano fuel. Iron is used as a catalyst to split diatomic hydrogen at high temperature and pressure in the Hader process. This technology relies on iron to split H from OH. We should evaluate the addition of rust particles to Rossi replication cells.

    2) Is this LENR? It should be easy to perform isotopic analysis on iron, nickel, lithium, and hydrogen to find out.

    3) Sunshine to hydrogen.

    A while back I was intrigued by work on direct sunshine-to-hydrogen electrolysis being done in Colorado. Imagine a solar panel that spews hydrogen (and oxygen) which could then be collected for use on demand in a fuel cell at night. At the time, efficiency losses in traditional solar panels and in electrolysis were too high to make it viable, hence the idea to mimic plants and do the deed in a single step. That work was underway a decade or more ago, they were apparently unsuccessful.

    This opens a new avenue in which traditional solar arrays -- now an order of magnitude less expensive and modestly more efficient -- can generate DC which can more efficiently be converted to hydrogen.