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Rutgers chemists develop new high-performance, platinum-free electrocatalyst for electrolysis; licensing available

Rutgers researchers have synthesized cobalt-embedded nitrogen-rich carbon nanotubes (NRCNTs) that 1) can efficiently electrocatalyze the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) with activities close to that of costly platinum and 2) function well under acidic, neutral or basic media alike, allowing them to be coupled with the best available oxygen-evolving catalysts—which also play crucial roles in the overall water-splitting reaction.

The Rutgers team said that their technology is also far more efficient than less-expensive catalysts investigated to-date. A paper on the work is published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

The materials are synthesized by a simple, easily scalable synthetic route involving thermal treatment of Co2+-embedded graphitic carbon nitride derived from inexpensive starting materials (dicyandiamide and CoCl2).

Tewodros (Teddy) Asefa, associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, and his colleagues attributed the materials’ efficient catalytic activity mainly to their nitrogen dopants and concomitant structural defects.

The researchers have filed for a patent on the catalyst, which is available for licensing or research collaborations through the Rutgers Office of Technology Commercialization. The National Science Foundation funded the research.


  • Zou, X., Huang, X., Goswami, A., Silva, R., Sathe, B. R., Mikmeková, E. and Asefa, T. (2014) “Cobalt-Embedded Nitrogen-Rich Carbon Nanotubes Efficiently Catalyze Hydrogen Evolution Reaction at All pH Values,” Angew. Chem., 126: 4461–4465. doi: 10.1002/ange.201311111



It's time to do water splitting on a regular basis so I will be able to fuel my car cheaply and without pollution. We are late on this and climate change is progressing badly. It's time to modify the laws of physics if it's necessary because the laws of spirits are first and the laws of physics follow. But don't panic the actual laws of physic permit to do water electrolysis where the energy come from windmills and solar panels, there is sufficient source of energies and all that with a lower cost then petrol and without pollution, that's not a question. The only cost happen at the beginning. It's urgent because of petrol cost, depletion and pollution and climate change.


The First Law of Thermodynamics states that if an amount of energy is applied to a system to bring it into an other condition (H2O split to H and O) the same amount of energy must be removed from the system to bring it back in the original condition ( combustion of H and O to H2O) . Hence, at 100% efficiency, no net energy can be taken out, as it then would have come out of nothing. That means that all the energy that would drive a car, doesn't come from the Hydrogen, but from an other energy source ... yes, the electricity grid. HYDROGEN IS NOT AN ENERGY SOURCE !
Using that electricity directly to drive the car, would be far more effcient and cheaper ..



Using electricity directly to power a vehicle is certainly one of the most efficient way but elctricity storage is too limited and still too costly.

However, H2 can be produced in huge quantities with clean elctricity and water and STORED for Extended periods for future uses as a fuel (when mixed with NG) or in a high efficiency FCs to produce clean electricity when needed.

FCEVs may be ideal in very cold areas where excess heat created by the FC could be used to keep passengers at an acceptable comfort level.

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