Scientists take a giant stride towards solving a riddle that would provide the world with entirely renewable, clean energy from which water would be the only waste product. “Universal scaling relations for the rational design of molecular water oxidation catalysts with near-zero overpotential”.

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ELI5: Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is a great way to make fuel, because the only exhaust of burning hydrogen is water. But the process of splitting the water is very inefficient, meaning it’s not practical. The article is talking about chemical catalists (chemicals involved with a reaction that don’t change or get used up) that are being studied with the goal of making the water splitting process more efficient,and thus practical for real world use. In particular, one step of the splitting process has been better understood, so we now know better how to advance such catalysts.

Uny0n

Splitting water is not an energy source, no matter how efficient. It’s energy storage, which is useful, but the energy still has to be generated some way.

suddenly_satire

The title is just straight up inaccurate, isn’t it? Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen isn’t an energy source, so this wouldn’t “provide the world with entirely renewable, clean energy”. It just has the possibility to be a good way to store large amounts of energy, and is already used for this purpose as rocket propellant.

DarkstoneGameStudios

Hydrogen is NOT a source of energy. It is a way to store energy generated by something else – like nuclear.

escadian

That article is pretty technical. Can someone eli15 it?

Hydra_in_your_soup