MIT's Matthew W. Kanan and Daniel G. Nocera explain how they recently discovered a catalyst that produces oxygen gas from water. Deposited on a conducting glass electrode, the catalyst made from the earth-abundant materials cobalt and phosphate produces oxygen gas from neutral pH water using a relatively low potential at room temperature and pressure. Although the catalytic reaction is not yet fully understood, its discovery moves the center one step closer to reaching its goal of using the sun's energy and water as a renewable energy source.
Credit: Stephen E. Lyons, Chemical Explorers, Moreno/Lyons Productions
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