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Directory:MIT:Daniel Nocera:Catalytic Electrolysis

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&lt&lt A Congress:Top 100 Technologies -- RD Energy Technology &gt&gt

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Electrolysis Breakthrough for Solar Storage

Inspired by the photosynthesis performed by plants, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have combined a liquid catalyst with photovoltaic cells to achieve a super efficient (nearly 100%) electrolysis.

This becomes a very effective storage system. One obvious extension of this would be the cost-effective storage of daytime solar energy for night-time use. Excess capacity during the day could be stored as hydrogen and oxygen, then used in fuel cells at night when needed.

: "Solar power has always been a limited, far-off solution. Now we can seriously think about solar power as unlimited and soon." -- Daniel Nocera Science July 31, 2008

Those playing with onboard electrolysis for hydroxy gas Directory:Fuel Efficiency Hydrogen Injection into the air intake might find this development to be noteworthy as well.

Official Websites - company site - The Nocera Lab (MIT Dept. of Chemistry)

Molecular Chemistry of Renewable Energy - "This Phase I CBC brings together a diverse group of chemists to address one of the outstanding “holy-grails" of science in the 21st century – the efficient, and ultimately economical, storage of solar energy in the form of chemical bonds." (NSF)

Investigator Profiles

Synergistic Activities




BOSTON- At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dan Nocera talks about Sun Catalytix, the next generation of solar energy, and ARPA-E funding through the Recovery Act. (YouTube USdepartmentofenergy February 26, 2010)

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Tiny Bubbles - MIT chemists Daniel Nocera and Matthew Kanan discover a new catalyst that speeds up the splitting of water into oxygen and hydrogen. Catalysts - Cobalt, Oxygen and Phosphorus instead of Platinum. 10.10 Minutes (TechTV August 12, 2008)

Daniel Nocera describes new process for storing solar energy - In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn’t shine. 2.02 Minutes (TechTV July 30, 2008)

- MIT chemistry professor Daniel Nocera

How it Works

Historically, the platinum electrodes used in electrolysis work well for splitting off the hydrogen, but platinum works very poorly for oxygen. The MIT catalyst works well to allow the efficient liberation of the oxygen.

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The new catalyst developed by MIT researchers consists of cobalt metal, phosphate and an electrode. When the catalyst is placed in water and electricity runs through the electrode, oxygen gas is produced.

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When another catalyst is used to produce hydrogen gas, the oxygen and hydrogen can be combined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power a house or an electric car, day or night.

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The patented catalyst formulation can be used in inexpensive, open containers. The new catalyst works at room temperature, in neutral pH water, and it's easy to set up, Nocera said.


patented catalyst formulation




Currently, MIT is working with photovoltaic cell manufacturers to incorporate electrolysis using their catalyst into solar energy systems.

The project is part of the MIT Energy Initiative, a program designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the needs of the future and to help build a bridge to that future by improving today's energy systems.

Funding was provided by the MIT Energy Initiative, the Chesonis Family Foundation, the Solar Revolution Project and the National Science Foundation, with a goal to make the large scale deployment of solar energy within 10 years.

Inventor: Daniel Nocera

Daniel Nocera is The Henry Dreyfus Professor of Energy and Professor of Chemistry at MIT.

B.S. Rutgers University 1979

Ph.D. California Institute of Technology 1984

Dr. Nocera was assited by Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow.


Image:Leaf MIT 95x95.jpg
Directory:Solar / Directory:Hydrogen > Directory:Solar Hydrogen > Directory:MIT:Daniel Nocera:Catalytic Electrolysis > MIT scientist develops artificial solar cell leaf that can power a house for a day with a single gallon of water - Daniel Nocera recently told attendees at the American Chemical Society that when his prototype leaf is placed in a pool of water, it effectively captures sunlight and splits water into oxygen and hydrogen at ten times the rate of a natural leaf. Operating for at least a full 45 straight hours without any decline in performance, the leaf acts as a small, highly-efficient solar cell that produces energy for use in power generation. (Directory: Mike Adams and Natural News March 29, 2011)
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Latest: Directory:Best Exotic Clean Energy Technologies > Happy Birthday to Me: A Flood of Free Energy - On my birthday, I am being treated to a barrage of amazing developments to report on, including: TurXator overunity electromagnetic generator contracting for 85 GW Freddy's water-fuel cell plans being posted BlackLight's hydrino validation Jeremiah Sturk's magnet motor Wiseman's instructions on Bedini's electromagnetic overunity kits 12 kW gravity motor. (PESN November 30, 2010)
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Directory:Solar Hydrogen / Directory:Hydrogen > Directory:Hydrogen Production / Directory:Hydrogen Storage > A Virus That Might Make Hydrogen - A team of scientists lead by material science professor Angela Belcher has genetically modified a virus that can exploit sunlight to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. If viable, the process could help solve the vexing problem of energy storage and the equally vexing problem of producing hydrogen in a reasonable and cost-effective way. (Green Tech Media April 11, 2010)
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Template: 43: Directory:Electrolysis > Directory:Solar Hydrogen > Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation > Directory:MIT:Daniel Nocera:Catalytic Electrolysis > With Artificial Photosynthesis, A Bottle of Water Could Produce Enough Energy To Power A House - Like organic photosynthesis, Nocera's reaction uses sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and energy. However, whereas plants create energy in the form of sugars, this process creates energy in the form of free hydrogen. ARPA-E gave Sun Catalytix $4 million nder the Recovery Act. (Popular Science March 4, 2010)
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Template: 43: Directory:Solar / Directory:Storage > Directory:Electrolysis > Directory:MIT:Daniel Nocera:Catalytic Electrolysis > New solar storage solution could be the key to home-brewed electricity - A new paper by MIT professor Daniel Nocera describes the development of a practical, inexpensive storage system for achieving personalized solar energy. At its heart is an innovative catalyst that splits water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen that become fuel for producing electricity in a fuel cell. (GizMag Nov. 4, 2009)
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Splitting Water to Store Solar Energy - MIT professor Daniel Nocera earlier worked on a catalysts that can divide water molecules which can be utilized to store energy. Daniel Nocera has established a company named as Sun Catalytix to give his dreams a concrete shape. He envisions low-cost Solar electrolysis producing hydrogen, stored in tanks, to run a fuel cell on demand, (Alt Energy News Sept. 30, 2009)

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Sun + Water = Fuel - With catalysts created by an MIT chemist, sunlight can turn water into hydrogen. If the process can scale up, it could make solar power a dominant source of energy. (MIT Technology Review Nov.-Dec. 2008)

MIT Researchers Discover New Energy Storage Solution - In April of this year, reported that the Chesonis Family Foundation gave the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) a grant of US $10 million to launch the Solar Revolution project. Now, MIT researchers believe they have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine. (Renewable Energy World August 4, 2008)

Solar-Power Breakthrough Researchers have found a cheap and easy way to store the energy made by solar power. (MIT Technology Review July 31, 2008)

MIT researchers split water to store solar energy - The idea is to use the energy from solar photovoltaic panels (or another electricity source) to crack water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Those gases would be stored and used later in a fuel cell to make electricity when the sun is not shining. The concept is a closed-loop system: running the hydrogen and water through the fuel cell creates water, which can be captured and used again. The hope is that within 10 years, a cost-effective system that combines clean energy generation with storage can be engineered and available cheaply to people around the world. (CNET July 31, 2008)

SCIENTISTS MIMIC ESSENCE OF PLANTS' ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEM - In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine. (PhysOrg July 31, 2008)

A “Giant Leap?? For Clean Energy: Hydrogen Production Breakthrough from MIT (TreeHugger July 31, 2008)

Using Sun's Energy to Split Water Means Solar Power All Night (Slashdot Thursday July 31, 2008)

MIT claims 24/7 solar power (EETimes July 31, 2008)

'Major discovery' from MIT primed to unleash solar revolution - In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine. (MIT News July 31, 2008)

Science July 31, 2008

New method extracts oxygen from water - Using common and affordable elements, and a glass of water, chemists may have given us a future way to efficiently obtain oxygen by splitting water. Researchers will need to study the new research results and incorporate the mechanisms into a larger system that also cleanly produces hydrogen. (NSF)

'Major Discovery' Primed To Unleash Solar Revolution - In a revolutionary leap that could transform solar power from a marginal, boutique alternative into a mainstream energy source, MIT researchers have overcome a major barrier to large-scale solar power: storing energy for use when the sun doesn't shine. (Science Daily July 31, 2008)

Harnessing solar energy like plants do - MIT News Office, 6/20/2008

MIT, Chesonis Foundation announce solar revolution - MIT News Office, 4/22/2008

A recipe for solar energy: learning from nature - MIT Energy Initiative (not dated)


See Talk:Directory:MIT:Daniel Nocera:Catalytic Electrolysis

Related Developments

Whales to Wood, Wood to Coal/Oil -- What’s Next? - Daniel Nocera lecture, MIT World video


Daniel Nocera

Teresa Herbert

MIT News Office

Phone: 617-258-5403

E-mail: []

See also


Directory:Solar:Photosynthesis Imitation

Directory:Solar Hydrogen



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Directory:Hydrogen Production

Directory:Hydrogen from Water

Directory:Solar Hydrogen

Directory:Hydrogen Storage



Directory:Water as Fuel

Directory:Fuel Efficiency Hydrogen Injection

Directory:Hydroxy or HHO Injection Systems

Directory:HHOi under Air Pressure to the Fuel Rail to Provide Petrol Substitute

Directory:Running Vehicles on Water

OS:Water Fuel Cell

Directory:Alternative Fuels

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- Directory







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