According to the website Xconomy, a start-up has been founded to develop a much-discussed catalyst invented by MIT professor Daniel Nocera, one that can be used to split water efficiently without requiring rare metals or caustic chemicals. Easy and inexpensive water-splitting (which produces hydrogen and oxygen) could be a good way to store energy from solar power or wind turbines for use when it’s dark outside or the wind isn’t blowing. The hydrogen could be used as a fuel that could be burned whenever it’s needed. Some sort of energy storage will be necessary if these renewable sources are to ever supply a large portion of our electricity.
Not much is known about the company other than that it’s called Sun Catalytix, and is funded by Polaris Venture Partners, based in Waltham, MA. It makes sense that the company would want to stay quiet for awhile. Nocera’s advance was in basic chemistry. Turning it into a useful product could take a long time. Read more about Nocera’s advance, and the challenges ahead, here.