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Scientists discover quick recipe for producing hydrogen

New formula for fast, abundant H2 production may help power fuel cells and helps explain expansive chemical-eating microbial communities of the deep

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Scientists in Lyon have discovered a quick-cook recipe for copious volumes of hydrogen (H2).

The breakthrough suggests a better way of producing the hydrogen that propels rockets and energizes battery-like fuel cells. In a few decades, it could even help the world meet key energy needs — without carbon emissions contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change.

It also has profound implications for the abundance and distribution of life, helping to explain the astonishingly widespread microbial communities that dine on hydrogen deep beneath the continents and seafloor.

Describing how to greatly speed up nature's process for producing hydrogen will be a highlight among many presentations by Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) experts at the American Geophysical Union's annual Fall Meeting in San Francisco Dec. 9 to 13.

The DCO is a global, 10-year international science collaboration unraveling the mysteries of Earth's inner workings — deep life, energy, chemistry, and fluid movements.

Muriel Andreani, Isabelle Daniel, and Marion Pollet-Villard of University Claude Bernard Lyon 1 discovered the quick recipe for producing hydrogen:

In a microscopic high-pressure cooker called a diamond anvil cell (within a tiny space about as wide as a pencil lead), combine ingredients: aluminum oxide, water, and the mineral olivine. Set at 200 to...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.