Hacked Gadgets Forum

December 8, 2008

Easily Splitting Water into Oxygen and Hydrogen

at 5:02 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Insane Equipment


Could this be the breakthrough in energy that we are needing to kick out habit on fossil fuel? With the organic solar cell I think the scientists of the world may be onto something here!

"MIT chemists Daniel Nocera and Matthew Kanan discover a new catalyst that speeds up the splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen. The discovery may heighten interest in pollution-free fuel cell vehicles, which generate energy by combining hydrogen and oxygen chemically, emitting only water. The catalyst, made from cheap materials and working in ordinary water, may also make it easier to convert sunlight into chemical fuels, storing solar energy in much the way plants do. "




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10 Responses to “Easily Splitting Water into Oxygen and Hydrogen”

  1. Shaun Says:

    wait, so if utilised i could fill my tank up with water, break it down into H o2, run my engine on it, and pump the exhaust straight back into the tank ?

  2. spoofy Says:


    not directly, I dont think. You would probably have to dump the oxygen as engines already have their own source of oxygen, but I do think direct hydrogen works fine. But Its not a case where you could just make it as you go, its more a matter of some day you could be pumping (liquid?) hydrogen into your tank instead of gasoline.

  3. ApprenticeWizard Says:

    The hydrogen vector is fascinating, but production still does not address the energy density issue. Either the needed hydrogen will have to be created on the fly (which is a over-unity situation – use power to create hydrogen to create power), or it will have to be created from a separate power source (e.g. solar cell) and transferred to and stored in the vehicle. This is where energy density comes into play. Either the hydrogen is stored uncompressed (lowest energy transfer, but requiring a dirigible attached to each vehicle), it is stored as a highly-compressed gas (requiring a compression system, which takes energy), or in a liquid state (requiring a great deal of energy to reduce hydrogen to a liquid).

    So, while is is grand that hydrogen can be produced in a very low-energy cycle, it is only the first step to a vehicle-usable hydrogen system.

  4. Daily Research » Shared Items - December 8, 2008 Says:

    […] Easily Splitting Water into Oxygen and Hydrogen […]

  5. Fuel Cells: MIT Team Finds Cheap Way to Split Water Into Oxygen and Hydrogen » The UberReview Says:

    […] way to store solar power, but also a clean way to collect hydrogen and oxygen as fuels. [MIT via Hacked Gadgets] For the latest info on the coolest gadgets, emerging technology and wired madness, subscribe to […]

  6. UDS Says:

    @Shaun: No, the total energy would be negative for that system, you would be creating less than you would get out of it.

  7. medix Says:

    I think that we ought to watch the video *again* and listen closely to what’s being said..

    The ultimate goal of this project IS to produce hydrogen (and oxygen.. we can’t just throw the O2 away.. it’s needed for re-combination/combustion and we already did the work to get it) using solar cells. With the lowered energy barrier produced by the catalyst, this is suddenly much more efficient. This group’s research goal (for this project) is not to address *how* to store the hydrogen/oxygen but how to produce it. Storage/transfer will be addressed later (and is currently being addressed now).

    Spend some time on Google and search for hydrogen storage using carbon nanotubes, etc.. (something that deals with hydrogen and nanotech should get you started). You’ll see that this issue is currently being researched (though, it is most definitely *not* an easy one.. )

  8. Trent Wolodko Says:

    It’s not rocket science… fire water molecules down an array of nano hilsch tubes, see what comes out each end.

    You’re welcome, world.

  9. MIT - Easily Splitting Water into Oxygen and Hydrogen | SteveintheUK Says:

    […] found via hackedgadgets.com […]

  10. said ghannam Says:

    Dear sir
    hooping to learn how can l splite the ordenary water into hydrogen
    to use this to produce other gasses
    will ypu please to informe me with your informations
    with my best regards
    said ghannam

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