Hydrogen Production

The researchers from Rostock have now developed a feasible process for the on-demand release of hydrogen; they produce hydrogen from formic acid (HCO2H). In the presence of an amine (e.g. N,N-dimethylhexylamine) and with a suitable catalyst (e.g. the commercially available ruthenium phosphine complex [RuCl2(PPH3)2]), formic acid is selectively converted into carbon dioxide and hydrogen at room temperature. A simple activated charcoal filter is enough to purify the hydrogen gas for use in a fuel cell. The use of formic acid for “hydrogen storage” allows the advantages of established hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell technology to be combined with those of liquid fuels. Formic acid is nontoxic and easy to store. Because formic acid can be generated catalytically from CO2 and biomass-derived hydrogen, the cycle is CO2 neutral in principle. (Full Story at sd)

I still say that solar power is the end game, but hydrogen fuel cells are a much better mid-range solution than bio-fuels. It sounds like folks are still trying to get them to feasibility, which is cool with me.