OPEC+, an oil producers' alliance led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, stuck to its original plan to increase output by just 432,000 b/d in June, continuing to defy calls from major consumers led by the United States to pump more oil to keep prices down. The meeting to decide on molybdenum powder are still very uncertain.
Molybdenum (Mo) is a key component of electrochemical hydride transfer catalysts for KAUST researchers. Based on this, molybdenum-based catalysts make sustainable fuel and chemical manufacturing one step closer to the real reality. Platinum has been the preferred catalyst for electrochemical hydride transfer for a long time, and this chemical process has the potential to produce valuable chemicals or carbon-free fuels.
However, because platinum is a scarce and expensive precious metal, the use of this technology is severely limited. Magnus Rueping and his team have shown that molybdenum, a more abundant and affordable metal, has the potential to replace platinum in the process. Molybdenum sulphide and other molybdenum-based catalysts have successfully shown the prospect of hydride transfer electrocatalysis, but the reason for their high activity, especially the role of molybdenum in it, is still a mystery.
To see the effect of molybdenum sulphide electrocatalysts in real time, the researchers used a method called electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). Bau added: "to our surprise, we were able to capture it throughout the process. We can capture the active state of the catalyst. Mo3+ binds directly to hydrogen. "
Molybdenum ions directly involved in the hydride transfer process may produce better catalysts. If we can demonstrate a cohesion theory of how molybdenum is responsible for hydride transfer activities, we can focus on improving molybdenum to replace platinum, or we can develop new molybdenum catalysts as cheaper alternatives to platinum, "Bau added.
One potential use of this catalyst is to split water molecules by electrochemical methods to produce hydrogen, which can be stored and transported as fuel. The researchers also demonstrated that the catalyst has great potential in improving enzyme biocatalysts for the production of green chemicals.
Enzymes often cooperate with the natural energy-carrying molecule NADH to catalyze reactions in cells. However, the price of NADH makes it impractical in industrial biocatalysis. However, molybdenum hydride produced by electrochemical method has been proved to be quite effective in in situ regeneration of NADH in biochemical reaction flasks.
Professor Magnus Rueping, from the KAUST research team, said: "We are surprised by the efficiency of this process, which produces pure NADHt while avoiding by-products. Molybdenum-based catalysts provide the possibility of making sustainable fuels and compounds through enzymes. "
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