Catalyzing the hydrogen economy

In order to make biofuel production from biomass as efficient as possible it will be crucial to understand the underlying chemical mechanisms running the reactions. Researchers in Northern Ireland are using infra-red spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to get to the core of the problem.

Frederic Meunier of the CENTACAT research labs at Queen’s University Belfast and his colleagues like many other scientists expect hydrogen to be the currency of the hydrogen economy and that the mint will rely on effective and inexpensive catalysts to produce the gas from renewable resources, such as biomass. Meunier and his colleagues are investigating platinum and rhodium based catalysts used to line the hollows in porous alumina or cerium zirconate.

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Is the hydrogen economy going to solve our energy woes? What do you think?