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2018-4-22 10:07| 发布者: dymodel| 查看: 126| 评论: 0|原作者: mind

摘要: With catalysts created by an MIT chemist, sunlight can turn water into hydrogen. If the process can scale up, it could make solar power a dominant source of energy. By Kevin Bullis Leaf envy: MIT ...
With catalysts created by an MIT chemist, sunlight can turn water into hydrogen. If the process can scale up, it could make solar power a dominant source of energy.
By Kevin Bullis

Leaf envy: MIT chemist Daniel Nocera has mimicked the step in photosynthesis in which green plants split water.
Credit: Christopher Harting
"I'm going to show you something I haven't showed anybody yet," said Daniel Nocera, a professor of chemistry at MIT, speaking this May to an auditorium filled with scientists and U.S. government energy officials. He asked the house manager to lower the lights. Then he started a video. "Can you see that?" he asked excitedly, pointing to the bubbles rising from a strip of material immersed in water. "Oxygen is pouring off of this electrode." Then he added, somewhat cryptically, "This is the future. We've got the leaf."
What Nocera was demonstrating was a reaction that generates oxygen from water much as green plants do during photosynthesis--an achievement that could have profound implications for the energy debate. Carried out with the help of a catalyst he developed, the reaction is the first and most difficult step in splitting water to make hydrogen gas. And efficiently generating hydrogen from water, Nocera believes, will help surmount one of the main obstacles preventing solar power from becoming a dominant source of electricity: there's no cost-effective way to store the energy collected by solar panels so that it can be used at night or during cloudy days.


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