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Hydrogen From Urine

A hydrogen economy would be great.  We could potentially have a limitless supply of energy because it is one of the most abundant elements on the planet while the only by product of its combustion would be water.

Currently a huge detractor is that hydrogen is expensive to produce.  Water is very stable, and it takes a lot of energy to break apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.  Gerardine Botte of Ohio University has created a new catalyst that can extract the hydrogen from urine.

Urine is the most abundant waste on Earth and extrating hydrogen from it costs fraction of what it would cost to produce hydrogen from water.  A major component of urine, urea, incorporates four hydrogen atoms per molecule and only requires .37 volts to break the molecule down as opposed to the 1.23 volts needed to break water down.

“During the electrochemical process the urea gets adsorbed on to the nickel electrode surface, which passes the electrons needed to break up the molecule,” Botte told Chemistry World.  She also believes that this technology can easily be scaled to both clean up sewage plants while giving us a viable, long-term energy source.

via physorg

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