Monthly Archives: October 2008
In a famous demonstration of chemistry in high school, a teacher first uses electricity to split liquid water into its component gases, hydrogen and oxygen. Then, by combining the two gases and lighting them with a spark, the instructor reconverted gases in water with a well audible noise.
Scientists at the University of Illinois have discovered a new way to get water, and without the pop. Not only can they obtain water from unlikely starting materials, such as alcohols, but their work may also lead to produce better catalysts and less expensive fuel cells.
Zachariah Heiden and Thomas Rauchfuss have discovered the method; they can use unconventional metal hydrides for a chemical process that is part of the process of formation of water.
A water molecule consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. But it is not possible to simply take two hydrogen atoms and stick with one oxygen atom. The real reaction of formation of water is a bit more complicated. To produce two molecules of water (H2O), two molecules of diatomic hydrogen (H2) must be combined with one molecule of diatomic oxygen (O2), and energy is released in the process.