by Baruch Gordon

( Among the most important challenges facing science today is designing an efficient system for splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. The ability to do so will introduce hydrogen into the market as a clean, sustainable fuel. But man-made systems for getting to the root of water that exist today are very inefficient and often require additional use of sacrificial chemical agents.

Now, a unique approach developed by Prof. David Milstein and colleagues of the Weizmann Institute’s Organic Chemistry Department, provides important steps in overcoming this challenge. Their research demonstrated a new mode of bond generation between oxygen atoms and even defined the mechanism by which it takes place. It is the generation of oxygen gas by the formation of a bond between two oxygen atoms originating from water molecules that proves to be the bottleneck in the water splitting process. Their research has recently been published in Science.

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