Professor Shigeo Mori of Osaka Prefecture University and the research team of the National Institute for Materials Science have jointly developed a new catalyst to be used when decomposing water.It can be made from inexpensive and abundant resources such as iron, copper, calcium, and oxygen, and is expected to contribute to the realization of a hydrogen energy society.

 With environmental pollution and fossil fuel depletion becoming issues, there is an urgent need to shift to an energy society based on hydrogen and fuel cells.On the other hand, in order to realize a hydrogen-based society, it is a prerequisite that hydrogen can be produced inexpensively and stably.Since ancient times, hydrogen has been produced by electrolyzing water.However, normal electrolysis causes a large loss of power.At this time, it is possible to reduce power loss by using a catalyst, but there is a problem that precious metals, which are expensive and have a limited amount of resources, are used for high-performance catalysts.Therefore, the development of catalysts that can be made only from inexpensive materials is being promoted, but catalysts with excellent performance have not been realized so far.

 The research group has succeeded in developing a new catalyst made only from iron, copper, calcium, and oxygen, which are abundant on the earth, by a method called ultra-high pressure synthesis.By preparing a sample under high pressure of tens of thousands of atmospheres, a kind of compound called perovskite can be produced.Perovskite is a substance that easily acts as a catalyst, but it has been revealed that it has a higher effect than previously known substances.Furthermore, the performance did not deteriorate even after repeated use, and it also had high durability.

 The new catalyst has the advantage that the cost of materials is overwhelmingly lower than that of existing catalysts.In the future, we aim to put it into practical use by devising synthesis methods and formulations.The arrival of a hydrogen-based society has yet to be realized, but it is steadily moving toward realization.

Source:[National Institute for Materials Science] Succeeded in developing a new catalyst material for the realization of a hydrogen-based society consisting of iron, copper, calcium, and oxygen, which is inexpensive and has abundant resources.

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