About Cam

gribbly.org* is the online home of Cameron Brown. Creative director, designer, musician, mediocre programmer, caffeine addict. Seattle

This is where I accumulate interesting links... If you're looking for coherence or context, you're in the wrong place!


Major Discovery from MIT's Energy Initiative

OK, so what's the catch here?

MIT's Daniel Nocera invents - essentially - artificial photosynthesis. Video.

Because... awesome!

2H+ + 2e- → H2 E = -0.41 V
2H2O → 4H+ + 2e- +O2 E = +0.82 V
H2O → ½ O2 + H2 ∆G = +1.23 eV

The Abstract:
The utilization of solar energy on a large scale requires its storage. In natural photosynthesis, energy from sunlight is used to rearrange the bonds of water to O2 and H2-equivalents. The realization of artificial systems that perform similar "water splitting" requires catalysts that produce O2 from water without the need for excessive driving potentials. Here, we report such a catalyst that forms upon the oxidative polarization of an inert indium tin oxide electrode in phosphate-buffered water containing Co2+. A variety of analytical techniques indicates the presence of phosphate in an approximate 1:2 ratio with cobalt in this material. The pH dependence of the catalytic activity also implicates HPO42– as the proton acceptor in the O2-producing reaction. This catalyst not only forms in situ from earth-abundant materials but also operates in neutral water under ambient conditions.

The MIT Energy Initiative (also: 50% more efficient fuel cells?)