Research Plan: Fuel Research Essay

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Research plan: Fuel research ____________________________________________________________________________
Title: Bio-inspired fuel (H2) research using bioinorganic and organometallic catalysis
Specific aim

The goals of this research plan is to (1) synthesize electrocatalysts based on active sites of enzymes (Hydrogenase) for hydrogen recycling; (2) do catalytic studies to understand the suitability of the catalysts; (3) focus on the rational design of fuel cell using newly made electrocatalysts; (4) develop a strategy to attach the catalysts to the electrode surface; (4) setup collaboration with engineering and other departments to meet fuel cell development goal; (5) bring financial support from industries and national funding
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Besides, methanol and methane, renewable resources, such as bio(ethanol) and glycerol, are considered as promising source of hydrogen. Nevertheless, their use remains limited as the applied reforming processes run at high temperature. On the other hand, hydrogen can be produced from metal and metal compound such as NaBH4. Nonetheless, these processes have obvious disadvantage such as toxicity, price, and safety. Although, decomposition of formic acid and amine adduct produces hydrogen under mild conditions, but need a catalyst to complete the process. It is noteworthy to mention that these resources are limited and we have to find a substrate which is ample on earth. So, H2 in future must be obtained from slitting of water, whether, electrolytically, photolytically, thermolytically or biolytically; however, the catalyst is a prime consideration.

In biological systems, H2 is produced by microbes, using two routes (i) fermentation and (ii) photosynthesis. Fermentation involves providing bacteria with suitable carbon sources such as domestic waste. However, photosynthesis is potentially more attractive since primary energy is captured, but is complicated by the need to avoid O2 damaging the active site of the enzymes.

The storage of hydrogen is another challenging issue in this research and many alternates for it has been discovered and