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  1. 2014.09.11 Fast, clean, green, cheap: Is this our hydrogen fuelled future?

    By Ken Macdonald

    BBC Scotland Science Correspondent

    Hydrogen burns cleanly, but its production can be bad for the environment

    Don't try this at home. Seriously.

    But were you to pass an electric current through water you'd see bubbles start to form. That's good old H2O breaking down into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen as electricity breaks its bonds.

    Hydrogen is the lightest element in the Universe. More pertinent to our needs, it's a carbon-free fuel. When you burn it you simply get heat and water.

    There's considerable buzz around hydrogen's capability to deliver clean energy, either by burning it or using hydrogen fuel cells.

    But the dominant method for producing the hydrogen we use today is not clean. Most of it is derived from methane in a process which uses fossil fuels and creates greenhouse gases.

    At Glasgow University, Prof Lee Cronin thinks he and his team have come up with a game changer.

    It's a process 30 times faster than the existing leading process which uses electricity to make hydrogen from water.

    Currently the most advanced process is to use proton exchange membrane electrolysers (PEMEs). But even the highest performing PEMEs need catalysts made of precious metal, high pressures and plenty of electricity.

    Prof Cronin and his colleagues at the university's Solar Fuels Group say their new method allows more hydrogen to be produced....


    Read the news published by News Scottland