ELECTROCHEMISTRY

Virtues of splitting up water-splitting

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Science  28 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6336, pp. 393-394
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6336.393-g

Widespread use of solar power will require a convenient means of storing energy for use at night and on rainy days, and making hydrogen fuel from water is a clean prospective solution. Most current approaches split the water into hydrogen and oxygen in the same apparatus, with a membrane keeping the two mutually explosive gases apart. Landman et al. instead separated the half reactions entirely, linking the two cells with a pair of nickel-based electrodes of the sort used in rechargeable alkaline batteries. Because these cells require only an electrical connection, the setup could potentially enable centralized hydrogen production powered by far-flung arrays of solar cells where the oxygen would be released.

Nat. Mater. 10.1038/NMAT4876 (2017).

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