New molecular design to get hydrogen-powered cars motoring—7 June 2016

A radical new process developed by researchers at The University of Melbourne, supported by ARC funding, allows hydrogen to be efficiently sourced from liquid formic acid, and could be one step forward in making the dream of hydrogen-powered cars an economic reality.

The University of Melbourne’s Professor Richard O’Hair has led an international team of scientists in designing a molecular catalyst that forces formic acid to produce only hydrogen and carbon dioxide and at a low temperature of only 70°C. Professor O’Hair, from the University’s School of Chemistry and Bio21 Institute, worked in collaboration with Professors Philippe Dugourd (from the University of Lyon), Philippe Maitre (University of Paris South), Bonačić-Koutecký (Humboldt-University Berlin) and Dr Roger Mulder (CSIRO Manufacturing) for the study.

Using formic acid to produce hydrogen has previously never been considered viable because it requires high temperatures to decompose and also produces waste by-products.

Media issued by The University of Melbourne.

Image: VW but smaller.
Image Credit: Marta Rostek File ID 1494870

Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, June 8, 2016