MIT reports boosting the efficiency of a durable and low-cost material for the oxygen-producing electrode for fuel cells based on the element cobalt. Look for super-efficient fuel cells from companies like Sun Catalytix over the next three years. R.C.J.
Here's a synopsis of what said: MIT has reported the discovery of yet another material that can also efficiently and sustainably function as the oxygen-producing electrode. This time the material is nickel borate, made from materials that are even more abundant and inexpensive than the earlier find. Even more significantly, the new finding shows that the original compound was not a unique, anomalous material, and suggests that there may be a whole family of such compounds that researchers can study in search of one that has the best combination of characteristics to provide a widespread, long-term energy storage technology. Already, as the research has increased the rate of production from catalysts a hundredfold from the level they initially reported two years ago. In addition, while the earlier paper and the new report focus on electrodes on the oxygen-producing side, originally the other electrode, which produced hydrogen, included the use of a relatively expensive platinum catalyst...The original discovery has already led to the creation of a company, called Sun Catalytix, that aims to commercialize the system in the next two years.
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