Molecular assemblies created to convert water to hydrogen gas
Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2004 @ 22:05:35 GMT
Topic: Science

August 25, 2004 - Wonder where the fuel will come from for tomorrow's hydrogen-powered vehicles? Virginia Tech researchers are developing catalysts that will convert water to hydrogen gas.
The research will be presented at the 228th American Chemical Society National Meeting in Philadelphia August 22-26, 2004

Supramolecular complexes created by Karen Brewer's group at Virginia Tech convert light energy (solar energy) into a fuel that can be transported, stored, and dispensed, such as hydrogen gas.

The process has been called artificial photosynthesis, says Brewer, associate professor of chemistry. "Light energy is converted to chemical energy. Solar light is of sufficient energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas, but this does not happen on its own; we need a catalysts to make this reaction occur."
Water is readily available and cheap, says Brewer, "but, so far, our compound is expensive. The goal is to make it catalytic and to couple it to oxygen production. We are working to build a supramolecular complex that will initiate the collection and movement of electrons and bonding of atoms without being destroyed in the process, so we don't have to build another molecular machine every time we want to convert water to hydrogen." Our systems do functioning catalytically but the efficiency needs to be enhanced...

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