Chemistry

Sourcing hydrogen directly from wax

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Science  04 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6312, pp. 594-595
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6312.594-e

Hydrogen is an appealing fuel because of the energy released in its reaction with oxygen and the nearly ideal safety profile of the sole product, water. The challenge lies in transporting and storing the hydrogen before its use. Gonzalez-Cortes et al. now show that simple paraffin wax can be an efficient source of hydrogen under the right circumstances. Specifically, they embedded carbon-supported ruthenium nanoparticles in the wax and then irradiated it with microwaves, thereby releasing up to half of the available gravimetric hydrogen content. The authors attribute the catalytic efficiency to a possible combination of local superheating and field-induced plasma formation.

Sci. Rep. 10.1038/srep35315 (2016).

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