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Researchers are able to quickly produce hydrogen without using any energy

Hydrogen is considered the energy carrier of the future, but unfortunately the chemical element can only be produced from water, which contains a large amount of energy. If you pump out excess electricity to produce hydrogen, you will gain nothing in the end! The new discovery made by a research team at the University of California, Santa Cruz is even more interesting: they produced pure hydrogen in a clean way without consuming any energy.

Hydrogen could become the energy source in the future

Gallium allows aluminum and water to react

The magic medicine in this case is aluminum, which is obtained from waste such as aluminum foil and cans. The aluminum nanoparticles automatically separate the hydrogen from the oxygen, and the hydrogen comes out of the water. However, these nanoparticles are not lying on the road, and they must be extracted from the aluminum. In the experiment, this part was taken up by a chemical element called gallium, a silver-white metal that is easily liquefied. Scientists have created a compound of aluminum and gallium and put it in contact with water. Gallium directly took on its task of catalyzing the reaction, separating the negative aluminum oxide layer from the aluminum surface and separating the base metal directly into aluminum nanoparticles. Hydrogen production has already started!

Rare gallium can be recovered

Gallium is a rare element – this point could be an impediment to large-scale industrial production. But the researchers came up with something here, too: They took the material back after the work was done, so they could use it again. Until now, highly reactive aluminum nanoparticles have been very difficult to produce, but with gallium this occurs almost spontaneously, under normal pressure conditions and at room temperature. Gallium aluminum compound requires a cyclohexane cap for storage to protect it from moisture. Otherwise, it will gradually degrade.

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The researchers observed the formation of nanoparticles in a scanning electron microscope with the help of X-ray diffraction and determined the reaction ratio of 3: 1. This is the optimal ratio for hydrogen production. All parameters appear to be correct, and only the large-scale production step is missing.


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