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Scientists Discover New Way To Make Water

This is where you can discuss your homework, family, just about anything, make strange sounds and otherwise discuss things which are really not related to the Lancer-series. Yes that means you can discuss other games.

Post Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:50 am

Scientists Discover New Way To Make Water

I posted this because they discuss the use -- at the end of article -- of Iridium based catalysts -- and iridium is found in interstellar medium and meteorites and such -- the evolution of water from interstellar sources ????

Scientists Discover New Way To Make Water

ScienceDaily (Nov. 1, 2007) — In a familiar high-school chemistry demonstration, an instructor first uses electricity to split liquid water into its constituent gases, hydrogen and oxygen. Then, by combining the two gases and igniting them with a spark, the instructor changes the gases back into water with a loud pop.

Scientists at the University of Illinois have discovered a new way to make water, and without the pop. Not only can they make water from unlikely starting materials, such as alcohols, their work could also lead to better catalysts and less expensive fuel cells.

"We found that unconventional metal hydrides can be used for a chemical process called oxygen reduction, which is an essential part of the process of making water," said Zachariah Heiden, a doctoral student and lead author of a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, and posted on its Web site.

A water molecule (formally known as dihydrogen monoxide) is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. But you can't simply take two hydrogen atoms and stick them onto an oxygen atom. The actual reaction to make water is a bit more complicated: 2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + Energy.

In English, the equation says: To produce two molecules of water (H2O), two molecules of diatomic hydrogen (H2) must be combined with one molecule of diatomic oxygen (O2). Energy will be released in the process.

"This reaction (2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + Energy) has been known for two centuries, but until now no one has made it work in a homogeneous solution," said Thomas Rauchfuss, a U. of I. professor of chemistry and the paper's corresponding author.

The well-known reaction also describes what happens inside a hydrogen fuel cell.

In a typical fuel cell, the diatomic hydrogen gas enters one side of the cell, diatomic oxygen gas enters the other side. The hydrogen molecules lose their electrons and become positively charged through a process called oxidation, while the oxygen molecules gain four electrons and become negatively charged through a process called reduction. The negatively charged oxygen ions combine with positively charged hydrogen ions to form water and release electrical energy.

The "difficult side" of the fuel cell is the oxygen reduction reaction, not the hydrogen oxidation reaction, Rauchfuss said. "We found, however, that new catalysts for oxygen reduction could also lead to new chemical means for hydrogen oxidation."

Rauchfuss and Heiden recently investigated a relatively new generation of transfer hydrogenation catalysts for use as unconventional metal hydrides for oxygen reduction.

In their JACS paper, the researchers focus exclusively on the oxidative reactivity of iridium-based transfer hydogenation catalysts in a homogenous, non-aqueous solution. They found the iridium complex effects both the oxidation of alcohols, and the reduction of the oxygen.

"Most compounds react with either hydrogen or oxygen, but this catalyst reacts with both," Heiden said. "It reacts with hydrogen to form a hydride, and then reacts with oxygen to make water; and it does this in a homogeneous, non-aqueous solvent."

The new catalysts could lead to eventual development of more efficient hydrogen fuel cells, substantially lowering their cost, Heiden said.

The work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Post Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:12 am

but would you drink it?

(for, as everyone knows, you can take a horse to water, but you can't make him drink..)

what's the betting that this *discovery* disappears in similar wise to all the other alternatives to oil? I remember in the mid 70s hearing about this and that synthetic fuel or energy from water and all the rest, but it never happened. The oil companies will squish any threat to their dominance of the world's energy and the stranglehold that they have on the world's economy.

Post Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:49 pm

Have to agree with that, the dominence and influence those slimy rats have over our energy concerns is nothing short of criminal. I can't wait for the day when our reliance on oil is broken, we should be well on the way now but at least people are starting to wake up to the fact that there is more to energy than just oil and coal.

Post Thu Nov 01, 2007 3:50 pm

Ahem -- thats " Lead " a Horse to water -- you can take a horse anywhere you want pfft ( if you have a trailer big enough -- ive seen a photo of your suspended ahem " Donkey " )

As for Us horses we perfer something more potable -- beer, wine , soda , champagne ( we as a equine species have excellent tastes )

BUT your probably right about this supposed discovery vanishing tooo

I only posted this as a interesting piece -- I thought that it was fascinating that Iridium catalyst -- iridium being found only in the interstellar medium should prove to be a source of water generation

Kinda full circle life comes from space persee

Post Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:12 pm

Aliens! the supposed experiment is in fact yet another step on the forced reshaping of planet Earth into a poisonous dunghole fit only to be inhabited by lizard men from Zeta Reticuli! Hydrogen power cells? clearly designed as power generators for human-destroying terminator-style machines (they were in the film too) once all the oil's been burnt into the atmosphere or poured into the sea - the lizards will then have monopolised the most efficient and abundant source of energy again, except this time for their ultimate purposes, exterminating humanity (we've already been enslaved!)

Smash the power cells! return to wind and donkeys! (and other forms of equine exploitation)

incidentally I prefer the terms "drive," "beat," or "whip," to "lead" or "take" - I just didn't want to hurt your feelings

Edited by - Tawakalna on 11/2/2007 5:20:45 AM

Post Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:42 pm

I'm not a chemist but I know bull plop when I smell it Mr Ed. this sounds more like a story about hydrogen-storage than a story about a breakthrough in conversion efficiencies. (notice there is no mention of energy throughput, which is #1 indicator that this is Hydro-horse-$h!t)

meanwhile, while George Dubya (a man who knows so much about science he spells and pronounces Nuclear Nuke-u-lar) will tell us how scientists are close to breaking the last few little drawbacks to hydrogen, like it's inefficiency and cost which are ridiculous, even compared to the newest and most exotic battery technology. afaik energy density, conversion/storage efficiency, and energy release/application efficiency are -the- deciding factors of whether a given energy tech is practical.

some very short sighted people will continue to beg for hydrogen(sorry), and no doubt exxon/mobil will roll it out as soon as they have the rest of the 100 trillion dollars they need to completely replace their gas stations with H2o splitters. just don't come to -me- ten or twenty years from now and complain that it costs 5 dollars to drive(or fly?) 30 miles in Cali and 10 to drive 30 in georgia or wherever because electrical energy costs are local, or that your veg-oil based biodiesel costs too much for you to afford to eat & drive. you should have known that processing food into fuel would drive food costs into the roof, and you probably should have adjusted your diet to account for the increasing cost of chicken and cattle feed.

i'm just saying the solution to our energy problems is efficiency, efficiency efficiency - and reduction. People commute too far, drive when they can walk, etc etc and you know this! we cannot just shift the massive amount of demand to other areas like argriculture or the electrical grid - to do so is inviting disaster, as we're starting to see the effects of 'alt fuels already.

p.s. i'm all for equine exploitation but we need to fit gas collectors to them to trap all the methane escaping from their rears since global warming is such a problem. and what's with the title? "make water" is a polite way of saying urinate here hehe.... i thought maybe some scientists had found a new way to pee?

Edited by - Cold_Void on 11/1/2007 4:47:33 PM

Post Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:33 am


"People commute too far, drive when they can walk, etc etc and you know this! we cannot just shift the massive amount of demand to other areas like argriculture or the electrical grid - to do so is inviting disaster, as we're starting to see the effects of 'alt fuels already."


he's really not wrong; for example, how many people use a car to take their kids to school on a journey that's no more than a mile at the most? I've done it myself, more times than I care to recall. And such short journeys are the most fuel-inefficient (and damaging to the vehicle) because the engine is cold, it's always in low gear and the car's usually stuck in traffic, and the extra cars create so much congestion that a lot more cars sit idling pumping yuk into the atmosphere. When i have to drive into work from home, if it's a school day the journey takes 45mins to an hour extra - because of all the extra traffic congestion caused by folks dropping the little darlings off instead of walking to school. And in South Manchester, which is the way I go in, those are often dirty big 4x4s (SUVs to you folk on the other side of the water) - but who really needs to take their kids to school in a Hummer?

Until everybody radically changes the way they live, then f4rting about with light bulbs and so-called green initiatives for your house insurance etc won't make a carbon molecule of difference.

Y'see I wouldn't drive to work if I could go another way, it's long and horrible and I hate it - I'd go on the train but it's more expensive and a lot more inconvenient - it's actually cheaper for me to stay away in the week. It's not a coincidence that the rise in car ownership and usage and the grinding to a halt of the traffic flow is coterminous with the decline in investment of public transport and the deregulation of trains and buses. Exactly the opposite occurs on the Continent which is why European cities have clean, cheap, and efficient public transport (trains, trams, buses, and tubes) while Britain has a decaying overpriced inefficient mess, and we have to drive cars everywhere.

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