News of the WeekChemistry

Catalyst Boosts Hopes for Hydrogen Bonanza

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Science  27 Sep 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5590, pp. 2189-2190
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5590.2189a

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Green-energy aficionados have long dreamed of using the sun's rays to split water molecules to release hydrogen gas, which produces only water when it burns. Now on page 2243, chemists report that adding carbon to the well-known water-splitting catalyst titanium dioxide increased the catalyst's ability to convert the energy in sunlight more than eightfold, to 8.5%, just below the U.S. Department of Energy's 10% benchmark for a commercially viable catalyst.