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Highly Efficient Water Electrolysis

Water Electrolysis A significant hurdle to the implementation of a hydrogen-based economy is the fact that hydrogen cannot be made at an economically feasible price. It is widely speculated that water electrolysis, which separates water into its component elements of hydrogen and oxygen, will be the means of generating hydrogen in this type of economy. Water electrolysis systems (electrolyzers) currently employ either platinum or nickel-based alloy electrodes, which can account for up to 80% of the cost of a commercial electrolyzer. Based on an analysis of the Photosystem II process, which is widely observed in nature, thin metal oxide films have been developed in the laboratory at FSU for the purpose of improving water electrolysis. These films have demonstrated the ability to generate both hydrogen and oxygen near their thermodynamic limits, thus allowing for efficiencies above 99%.