The world will run out of cheap oil in 20–30 years, causing energy costs to rise, and probably hitting the economies of many nations. Time is now to look for alternative sources of energy, so that a gentle transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources can take place. While several research programs are being conducted mostly on the sun and wind energies, there is one more source that covers 71% of the Earth surface, which is water. Splitting water by electrolysis forms oxygen and hydrogen molecules. Hydrogen has several uses in energy generation, including fuel cells, hydrogen-powered engines and stations, heating, household use, and many others. In this experiment, conductive nanoparticles were dispersed into a tap water at 60 °C with 1M concentration of sulfuric acid solution, and then electric current was passed through the dispersion at different DC voltages, leading to the formation of hydrogen gas at the cathode — the negative side of the cell. The industrial hydrogen production using acid and pressure is very expensive, and at this stage cannot compete with the fossil fuels. However, adding the nanoparticles increased the yield of hydrogen at lower voltages by up to 80%.
Effects of Conductive Nanomaterials on Hydrogen Production During Electrolysis
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Nageshkar, V, Srikanth, M, Jurak, E, & Asmatulu, R. "Effects of Conductive Nanomaterials on Hydrogen Production During Electrolysis." Proceedings of the ASME 2013 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition. Volume 6B: Energy. San Diego, California, USA. November 15–21, 2013. V06BT07A042. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/IMECE2013-66512
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