Hydrogen could be the fuel of the future, if someone can help bring the price down.
Hydrogen’s obtained by splitting water into it’s two parts, oxygen and hydrogen. Right now, the only method for doing the splitting involves platinum as a catalyst. Platinum is expensive, and that’s the main reason for the high cost of hydrogen as a fuel. But some researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may have more cost-effective solution.
Chemist Daniel Nocera, head of the M.I.T.’s Solar Revolution Project, is focused on making the splitting less expensive. Nocera and postdoctoral fellow Matthew Kanan discovered it could be accomplished by simply adding the metals cobalt and phosphate to water and running a current through it. In contrast to platinum ($2,000 an ounce), cobalt and phosphate cost roughly $2.25 an ounce and $.05 an ounce, respectively.
Nocera is hoping that in the future, your house could be layered with solar panels producing enough electricity to power an inexpensive home based hydrogen refueler.