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Graphene Nobel winners discover new property of graphene

  1. Nov 27, 2014 #1
    Researchers from the University of Manchester were surprised to find that positively charged hydrogen atoms - protons - can pass through it

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/s...redible-new-graphene-discoveries-9885425.html

    Does that mean that a graphene filter could extract hydrogen out of thin air and then use it to generate electricity or even burn it. free energy at last? actually not free but free hydrogen generated in air by sun. Air flows thru graphene filter extracts hydrogen burns to make more air flow thru filter.. Am I missing some thing?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2014 #2
    Doubt it - first you have to ionize the air, which probably will take more energy than you'd get from burning the hydrogen you collect.
     
  4. Nov 27, 2014 #3

    CWatters

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    Not enough hydrogen in the air to make it worthwhile? Elsewhere on the web someone calculated that there is only enough hydrogen in the entire atmosphere to power a few cities for a year.
     
  5. Nov 27, 2014 #4
    This could be useful in acidic solutions though - if the principle still works there. You could possibly create a diffusion barrier where the H+ ions in solutions can collect. I think it would probably be a small effect though, and pretty sure there's some issues with the SLOT here.
     
  6. Nov 27, 2014 #5
    well not according to Nobel laurate who invented graphene and is author of the paper. they seem more authoritative than anonymous internet comments

    “In the atmosphere there is a certain amount of hydrogen and this hydrogen will end up on the other side [of graphene] in a reservoir. Then you can use this hydrogen-collected reservoir to burn it in the same fuel cell and make electricity,” said Professor Sir Andrei Geim of Manchester Univeristy.

    0B7CA615000005DC-0-image-3_1417083457033.jpg
    Sir Andre Geim (left) and Dr Konstantin Novoselov (right) who were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010
    ..

    “Essentially you pump your fuel from the atmosphere and get electricity out of this fuel, in principle. Before this paper, this wouldn’t even be speculation; it would be science fiction. At least our paper provides a guidance and proof that this kind of device is possible and doesn’t contradict to any known laws of nature,” Sir Andre added.
     
  7. Nov 27, 2014 #6
    Yes, because scientists never make overly optimistic claims in order to generate publicity. Their discovery is that they found protons can pass through graphene - you do understand that there's a big difference between a proton and an H2 molecule, don't you?
     
  8. Nov 27, 2014 #7

    Danger

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    I can't help wondering if this technology, along with zeolite compression technology to concentrate oxygen from air, might be applicable to desalinating seawater for human use. Are there enough free hydrogen ions romping around in water to make it possible?
     
  9. Nov 27, 2014 #8
    the quotes are of a nobel laureate not mine. If you would like to dispute Andrei Geim's physics credentials feel free. I think the implication this discovery is leading to is specific charged particles can be filtered thus leading to a charged circuit if a one way trap door can be created out of a graphene filter. Where the random motion of charged particles allows them in but a chemical trap door prevents them from leaving creating a capacitor that gets charged simply by exposure to air.
     
  10. Nov 27, 2014 #9

    Bystander

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    Hydrogen concentration in earth's atmosphere is ~ 0.5 ppm; dissociated (monatomic H) is going to be orders of magnitude less; ionized less yet. Activity on one side of a semi-permeable membrane (the "fuel collection" side) is never going to exceed that of the source (atmospheric) side. There are some materials handling problems to be solved before this application is ready for any credible IPO on Wall Street. (NASDAQ? Sure --- they'll buy anything.)
     
  11. Nov 28, 2014 #10

    DrDu

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  12. Nov 28, 2014 #11
    But if you go higher up in the Earth's atmosphere, the ppm of Hydrogen would probably be much better.

    Furthermore, what about applications for fuel cells? Couldn't graphene function similarly to a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) if a current is supplied?
     
  13. Nov 28, 2014 #12

    Bystander

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    And how do I get my process plant up there?
    The fuel cell possibilities are worth exploring if only to get around electrode/catalyst poisoning problems.
     
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