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Directory:Graphene as a Proton Filter

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Compiled by Congress:Founder:Sterling D. Allan

Pure Energy Systems News

December 15, 2014 6:15 pm MDT

It's fun to see a blatant free energy concept such as extracting hydrogen from air emerge from mainstream science with coverage in mainstream news and academic publications.

On December 2, IEEE Spectrum reported (excerpt):

: In research out of the University of Manchester in the UK led by Nobel Laureate Andre Geim, it has been shown that the one-atom-thick materials graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), once thought to be impermeable, allow protons to pass through them. The result, the Manchester researchers believe, will be more efficient fuel cells and the simplification of the heretofore difficult process of separating hydrogen gas for use as fuel in fuel cells.

: This latest development alters the understanding of one of the key properties of graphene: that it is impermeable to all gases and liquids. Even an atom as small as hydrogen would need billions of years for it to pass through the dense electronic cloud of graphene. In fact, it is this impermeability that has made it attractive for use in gas separation membranes.

: But as Geim and his colleagues discovered, in research that was published in the journal Nature, monolayers of graphene and boron nitride are highly permeable to thermal protons under ambient conditions. So hydrogen atoms stripped of their electrons could pass right through the one-atom-thick materials.

: The surprising discovery that protons could breach these materials means that that they could be used in proton-conducting membranes (also known as proton exchange membranes), which are central to the functioning of fuel cells.

On November 26, 2014, the University of Manchester in the UK posted the following press release (excerpt):

: Protons fuel graphene prospects

: Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it, University of Manchester researchers have found.

: Published in the journal Nature, the discovery could revolutionize fuel cells and other hydrogen-based technologies as they require a barrier that only allow protons – hydrogen atoms stripped off their electrons – to pass through.

: In addition, 'graphene membranes could be used to sieve hydrogen gas out of the atmosphere, where it is present in minute quantities, creating the possibility of electric generators powered by air.'

: One-atom thick material graphene, first isolated and explored in 2004 by a team at The University of Manchester, is renowned for its barrier properties, which has a number of uses in applications such as corrosion-proof coatings and impermeable packaging.

: For example, it would take the lifetime of the universe for hydrogen, the smallest of all atoms, to pierce a graphene monolayer.

: Now a group led by Sir Andre Geim tested whether protons are also repelled by graphene. They fully expected that protons would be blocked, as existing theory predicted as little proton permeation as for hydrogen.

: Despite the pessimistic prognosis, the researchers found that protons pass through the ultra-thin crystals surprisingly easily, especially at elevated temperatures and if the films were covered with catalytic nanoparticles such as platinum.

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: The discovery makes monolayers of graphene, and its sister material boron nitride, attractive for possible uses as proton-conducting membranes, which are at the heart of modern fuel cell technology. Fuel cells use oxygen and hydrogen as a fuel and convert the input chemical energy directly into electricity. Without membranes that allow an exclusive flow of protons but prevent other species to pass through, this technology would not exist.

: Despite being well-established, fuel-cell technology requires further improvements to make it more widely used. One of the major problems is a fuel crossover through the existing proton membranes, which reduces their efficiency and durability.

: The University of Manchester research suggests that the use of graphene or monolayer boron nitride can allow the existing membranes to become thinner and more efficient, with less fuel crossover and poisoning. This can boost competitiveness of fuel cells.

: The Manchester group also demonstrated that their one-atom-thick membranes can be used to extract hydrogen from a humid atmosphere. They hypothesize that such harvesting can be combined together with fuel cells to create a mobile electric generator that is fuelled simply by hydrogen present in air.

: Marcelo Lozada-Hidalgo, a PhD student and corresponding author of this paper, said: “When you know how it should work, it is a very simple setup. You put a hydrogen-containing gas on one side, apply small electric current and collect pure hydrogen on the other side. This hydrogen can then be burned in a fuel cell.

: “We worked with small membranes, and the achieved flow of hydrogen is of course tiny so far. But this is the initial stage of discovery, and the paper is to make experts aware of the existing prospects. To build up and test hydrogen harvesters will require much further effort.”

: Dr Sheng Hu, a postdoctoral researcher and the first author in this work, added: “It looks extremely simple and equally promising. Because graphene can be produced these days in square metre sheets, we hope that it will find its way to commercial fuel cells sooner rather than later”.

: The work is an international collaboration involving groups from China and the Netherlands who supported theoretical aspects of this research. Marcelo Lozada-Hidalgo is funded by a PhD studentship programme between the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico and The University of Manchester.

Thanks to Directory:Daren Walker for bringing this to our attention.

Official Websites

http://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/

PRESS RELEASE: Protons fuel graphene prospects - Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it, University of Manchester researchers have found. (November 26, 2014)

Twitter: @UoMGraphene

Papers

Proton transport through one-atom-thick crystals, S. Hu, M. Lozada-Hidalgo, F. C. Wang, A. Mischenko, F. Schedin, R. R. Nair, E. W. Hill, D. V. Boukhvalov, M. I. Katsnelson, R. A. W. Dryfe, I. V. Grigorieva, H. A. Wu and A. K. Geim (Nature'' 516, 227–230 11 December 2014 Published online 26 November 2014)

In the News

Google News > - 488 results as of December 15, 2014

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(The hyperlink is missing because this points to the present page)
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Latest: Directory:Ambient Air Engines / Directory:Hydrogen > Directory:Hydrogen Production > Directory:Graphene > Directory:Graphene as a Proton Filter - Led by Nobel Laureate Andre Geim, U of M researchers have shown that the one-atom-thick materials graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) allow protons to pass through them, which could lead to more efficient fuel cells as well as extracting hydrogen from air. (PESWiki December 15, 2014)

Graphene membrane allows mobile Fuel Cells to harvest Hydrogen straight from Air - A team of UK researchers led by none other but Nobel Laureate Andre Geim – one of persons involved in graphene‘s discovery in 2004 – has shown that the wondrous two dimensional material graphene can used as a proton exchange membrane in fuel cells. The find took everybody by surprise since no one expected graphene could allow protons to pass through its tight, one-atom thick hexagon structure. In addition, graphene membranes could be used to sieve hydrogen gas out of the atmosphere making it possible for mobile fuel cells to run on nothing but air! (ZMEScience December 3, 2014)

Graphene-based Fuel Cell Membrane Could Extract Hydrogen Directly from Air - In research out of the University of Manchester in the UK led by Nobel Laureate Andre Geim, it has been shown that the one-atom-thick materials graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), once thought to be impermeable, allow protons to pass through them. The result, the Manchester researchers believe, will be more efficient fuel cells and the simplification of the heretofore difficult process of separating hydrogen gas for use as fuel in fuel cells. (IEEE Spectrum 2 December 2014)

Fuel from thin air? Graphene breakthrough may lead to green car revolution - Scientists believe they can use the same material found in pencil lead to revolutionize the green car industry. They discovered that graphene may serve as a fuel cell membrane and even allow the harvesting of hydrogen from air. (RT November 28, 2014)

Protons penetrate graphene - Theorists have calculated that hydrogen – despite having small atoms with just one proton and electron – would take billions of years to penetrate a single layer of graphene. Now measurements of the "barrier" posed by two-dimensional materials to oncoming protons suggest that a single layer of graphene or boron nitride is, on the contrary, highly permeable to protons. This high proton conductance may prove useful for making thinner, more efficient hydrogen fuel cells. (NanoTechWeb November 27, 2014)

Graphene breakthrough 'could boost fuel cell performance' - Scientists discover graphene can conduct protons, much to the delight of fuel cell manufacturers. A newly-discovered property of graphene could pave the way for the creation of new hydrogen-based fuel cell technologies. (ITPro 27 November, 2014)

Graphene breakthrough could trigger electric car revolution: Proton discovery paves way to super-efficient batteries (DailyMail 27 November 2014)

Graphene is the world's thinnest and strongest material that is impermeable to atoms and molecules

Researchers from the University of Manchester were surprised to find that positively charged hydrogen atoms - protons - can pass through it

Discovery could boost efficiency of fuel cells for cars generating electricity from hydrogen, by using a graphene-based membrane

PRESS RELEASE: Protons fuel graphene prospects - Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it, University of Manchester researchers have found. (November 26, 2014)

‘Impermeable’ graphene yields to protons - Success in penetrating thin carbon sheets offers promise for better fuel cells. The world’s thinnest material has a soft spot for protons. Despite its impermeability to all atoms and molecules, the slim carbon film known as graphene allows protons to pass through it, new experiments reveal. The finding suggests that graphene and similar ultrathin materials can improve hydrogen fuel cells, which require a barrier that allows only protons to penetrate. Discovered in 2004 by physicists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov at the University of Manchester in England, graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms in a honeycomb pattern. Physicists quickly learned that such ultrathin materials behave very differently than their thicker cousins with the same chemical makeup. For example, graphene conducts electricity far better than its pure-carbon relative diamond. (ScienceNews November 6, 2014)

Contact

http://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/contact.php

Daniel Cochlin

Graphene Communications and Marketing Manager

The University of Manchester

Phone: +44 161 275 8382

Phone: +44 7917 506158

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