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August 03, 2008

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It's early days for this research, but it sounds very credible to me. The really significant part is that efficient and cheap electrolysis *might* allow water-based fuel cells to be used for transportation. The good news is that the process works at room temperature and at neutral pH, but the bad news is that cobalt and platinum are already expensive. Cobalt is what the recording media on the platters in disk drives is made from. It's also frequently used in "refrigerator" hard magnets.

For those who don't know, a fuel cell looks like a battery from the electrical point of view (more or less!) but has the reactant chemicals flow through it, unlike batteries where the electrolyte fluid is "recharged."

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