Hydrogen made by enzyme is faster and cheaper
- Scientists have shown how an enzyme from a microbe can produce hydrogen from water more quickly and cheaply.
- Hydrogen is seen as vital to future energy systems, but a major problem has been making this reaction fast and cheap enough to be viable.
- Hydrogen can be split from water wherever electricity is available, even at home. And with a fuel cell it can be turned back into electricity, with water as the benign by-product.
- These natural enzymes are unfortunately difficult to obtain and do not survive well outside the microbe.
- But their new synthetic enzyme is performing surprisingly well; it is 10 times faster than the natural one, making 100,000 molecules of hydrogen gas every second.