Researchers at the Spanish Universitat Jaume I have developed graphene-based materials that can catalyse reactions for the conversion and storage of energy. The technology combines graphene and organometallic compounds in a single material without altering graphene's properties like electrical conductivity.
The technology is expected to be of great interest to the energy industry and is part of what is known as "hydrogen economy", an alternative energetic model in which energy is stored as hydrogen. In this regard, the materials (patented by the UJI) allow catalysing reactions for obtaining hydrogen from alcohols and may also serve as storage systems of this gas.
It is a novel technology using graphene for the first time as a support of organometallic compounds. These hybrid materials have catalytic properties and are modular and recyclable. Thus, the catalyst developed at the UJI can be recycled ten times without suffering a loss of activity, a very attractive property from the industrial viewpoint.
The new material is also the product of a novel system of obtaining hybrid materials in a single step. The materials can be used both in the development of catalysts as well as storage batteries or other energy types.