Researchers Find Cost-Effective Method for Hydrogen Fuel Production Process
Researchers at the U of A have designed nanoparticles that act as catalysts, making the process of water electrolysis more efficient.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Nanoparticles composed of nickel and iron have been found to be more effective and efficient than other, more costly materials when used as catalysts in the production of hydrogen fuel through water electrolysis.
The discovery was made by University of Arkansas researchers Jingyi Chen, associate professor of physical chemistry, and Lauren Greenlee, assistant professor of chemical engineering, as well as colleagues from Brookhaven National Lab and Argonne National Lab.
The researchers demonstrated that using nanocatalysts composed of nickel and iron increases the efficiency of water electrolysis, the process of breaking water atoms apart to produce hydrogen and oxygen and combining them with electrons to create hydrogen gas.
Chen and her colleagues discovered that when nanoparticles composed of an iron and nickel shell around a nickel core are applied to the process, they interact with the hydrogen and oxygen atoms to weaken the bonds, increasing the efficiency of the reaction by allowing the generation of oxygen more easily. Nickel and iron are also less expensive than other catalysts, which are made from scarce materials.
This marks a step toward making water electrolysis a more practical and affordable method for producing hydrogen fuel. Current methods of water electrolysis are too energy-intensive to be effective.
Chen, Greenlee and their colleagues recently published their results in the journal Nanoscale.
About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: Fulbright College is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with 19 departments and more than 30 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.
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Michael Kotutwa Johnson, research associate with the Native American Agriculture Fund, will talk about the "Continuity of Hopi Agriculture" at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, in Plant Science Building 009.
Longtime contributor, supporter and friend of the U of A and Razorback Athletics, Marilyn Bogle passed away Thursday.
A team of researchers and medical professionals has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a better way of using images of the heart in surgery planning.
Students can get their free tickets and non-students can purchase tickets from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 27-28, in front of the Arkansas Union Food Court.
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