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智科眼: 双语看懂新科研
材料科学 4230
As(As) anyone(任何人) who(who) has(has) purchased(购买) jewelry(珠宝) can(可以) attest(证明),(,) platinum() is(is) expensive(昂贵).(.) That(That)'s('s) tough(韧性) for(for) consumers(消费者) but also(而且) a(a) serious(严重) hurdle(障碍) for(for) a(a) promising(有希望) source(来源) of(of) electricity(电力) for(for) vehicles(汽车):(:) the hydrogen() fuel cell(燃料电池),(,) which(which) relies(依赖) on(on) platinum().(.)
Now(现在) a(a) research(研究) team(小组) led(领导) by(by) Bruce(布鲁斯·) E.(E.) Koel(KOEL),(,) a(a) professor(教授) of(of) biological(生物) and() chemical engineering(化工) at(at) Princeton(普林斯顿大学) University(大学),(,) has(has) opened(开启) a(a) door(大门) to(to) finding(寻找) far() cheaper(更便宜) alternatives(替代).(.) In(In) a(a) paper(论文) published(发表) April(4月) 4(4) in(in) the journal(期刊) Nature Communications(Nature Communications),(,) the researchers(研究人员) reported(报告) that(that) a(a) chemical compound(化合物) based on(基于) hafnium() worked(工作) about(about) 60(60) percent() as(as) effectively(有效) as(as) platinum()-()related(相关) materials(材料) but() at(at) about(about) one(之一)-()fifth() the cost(成本).(.)
"We("We) hope(希望) to(to) find(找到) something(东西) that(that) is(is) more() abundant(丰富) and() cheaper(更便宜) to(to) catalyze(催化) reactions(反应),"(,") said() Xiaofang(Xiaofang) Yang(),(,) principal(首席) scientist(科学家) at(at) HiT(冲击) Nano(纳米) Inc(Inc).(.) and() visiting(访问) collaborator(合作者) at(at) Princeton(普林斯顿) who(who) is(is) working() with(with) Koel(KOEL) on(on) the project(项目).(.)
Fuel cells(燃料电池) work(工作) by(by) converting(转换) energy(能量) stored(存储) in(in) hydrogen atoms(氢原子) directly(直接) into(into) electricity().(.) NASA(美国宇航局) has(has) long(长期) used(使用) fuel cells(燃料电池) to(to) power(供电) satellites(卫星) and() other(其他) space(太空) missions(任务).(.) Today(今天),(,) they(它们)'re('re) beginning(开始) to(to) be(be) used(使用) for(for) electric cars(电车) and() buses(公共汽车).(.)
Hydrogen() is(is) the simplest(最简单) and() most() abundant(丰富) element(元素) not() just() on(on) this(这个) planet(行星),(,) but also(而且) in(in) the known(已知) universe(宇宙).(.)
At(At) the most() basic(基本) level(层面),(,) fuel cells(燃料电池) produce(产生) electricity() by(by) splitting(分裂) hydrogen() into(into) its(它的) two(两种) components(成分),(,) a(a) proton(质子) and() an(一个) electron(电子).(.) The protons(质子) flow() through(通过) a(a) membrane() and() combine(结合) with(with) oxygen(氧气) to(to) form(形成) water().(.) The negatively charged(带阴电) electrons flow(电子流) toward(toward) a(a) positively charged(正电性) pole(电极) in(in) the fuel cell(燃料电池).(.) This(这种) flow() of(of) electrons(电子) is(is) the current(电流) that(that) the fuel cell(燃料电池) generates(产生),(,) which(which) can(可以) power(动力) engines(发动机) or() other(其他) electrical(电气) devices(设备).(.) This(这种) splitting(分裂) requires(需要) a(a) material(材料) such as(例如) platinum() to(to) catalyze(催化) the reaction(反应).(.)
Catalysts(催化剂) are(are) also() used(使用) in(in) reactions(反应) that(that) create(产生) the hydrogen gas(氢气) that(that) serves as(用作) fuel(燃料) for(for) the fuel cell(燃料电池).(.) In(In) the most() desirable(理想),(,) fossil-fuel(化石燃料) independent(无关) case(情况),(,) renewable(可再生) electrical energy(电能) can() be(be) used(使用) to(to) split(分裂) water molecules(水分子) ((()two(两个) hydrogen atoms(氢原子) and() one(一个) oxygen())()) in(in) the presence(存在) of(of) a(a) catalyst(催化剂).(.) The reaction(反应) splits(分裂) the water(水分) into(into) oxygen(氧气) and() hydrogen gases(氢气).(.) The more(更多) efficient(有效) the catalyst(催化剂),(,) the less() energy(能量) is(is) needed(所需) to(to) split(分裂) the water().(.)
Some(一些) advanced(先进) fuel cells(燃料电池),(,) called(称为) regenerative fuel cells(再生燃料电池),(,) combine(结合) both(both) reactions(反应).(.) But() most(大多数) current(目前) fuel cells(燃料电池) rely(依赖) on(on) hydrogen(氢气) created(创建) by(by) separate systems(分流排水系统) and() sold(出售) as(as) fuel(燃料).(.)
Right now(目前),(,) the best(最佳) catalysts(催化剂) for(for) both(both) reactions(反应) are(are) platinum group(铂系元素) metals(金属).(.) The researchers(研究人员) don(don)'t('t) think(认为) that(that) will() change(改变) because(因为) "(")platinum() is(is) almost(几乎) perfect(完美),"(,") Koel(KOEL) said().(.) With(With) platinum group(铂系元素) metals(金属),(,) the electrochemical reactions(电化学反应) to(to) draw out(拔丝) the hydrogen(氢气) are(are) quick(快速) and() efficient(有效),(,) plus() the metals(金属) can(可以) stand(经受) up(up) to(to) the harsh(苛刻) acidic(酸性) conditions(条件) currently(目前) required() for(for) such(这种) reactions(反应).(.)
The problem(问题),(,) though(尽管),(,) is(is) that(that) the platinum() is(is) rare(稀有) and() costly(昂贵).(.) "(")You() can(能够)'t('t) really(真正) imagine(想象) replacing(取代) the transportation(交通) infrastructure(基础设施) with(with) fuel cells(燃料电池) based on(基于) platinum(),"(,") Koel(KOEL) said().(.) "It's("It's) too() rare(罕见) and() too() expensive() to(to) use(使用) at(at) that(that) scale(规模)."(.")
For(For) such(这样) applications(应用),(,) platinum()'s('s) perfection(完美) may(可能) not() be(be) needed(需要).(.) One(一种) good()-()enough(足够) substitute(替代品),(,) the researchers(研究人员) found(发现),(,) is(is) hafnium() oxyhydroxide(羟基氧化) that(that) has(has) been(been) treated(处理) with(with) a(a) nitrogen() plasma(等离子体) ((()plasma(等离子体) is(is) an(一个) ionized gas(电离气体) and() is(is) a(a) state(状态) of(of) matter(物质) found(发现) in(in) fluorescent lights(荧光) and() the sun(太阳))()) to(to) incorporate(结合) nitrogen() atoms(原子) into(into) the material(材料).(.)
Previously(先前),(,) many(许多) materials(材料) have(have) been(been) overlooked(被忽视) for(for) electrochemistry(电化学) applications(应用) because(因为) they(它们) are(are) non-conducting(不导电).(.) However(然而),(,) the researchers(研究人员) found(发现) that(that) processing(处理) hafnium oxide(二氧化铪) with(with) the nitrogen() plasma(等离子体) forms(形成) a(a) thin film(薄膜) of(of) material(材料) that(that) functions(作用) as(as) a(a) highly() active(活性) catalyst(催化剂) that(that) also() survives(存活) in(in) strong acid(强酸) conditions(条件).(.)
While(虽然) this(这种) hafnium()-()based() film(薄膜) is(is) only() about(about) two(两个)-()thirds(三分) as(as) effective(有效) as(as) platinum(),(,) hafnium() is(is) far() cheaper(便宜) than(than) platinum().(.) The researchers(研究人员) plan(计划) to(to) test(测试) zirconium(),(,) which(which) is(is) even(甚至) cheaper(更便宜),(,) next().(.)
Although(尽管) they(它们) could(可能) be(be) useful(有用) in(in) fuel cells(燃料电池),(,) Yang() and() Koel(KOEL) believe(认为) that(that) these(这些) kinds(种类) of(of) materials(材料) could(可能) be(be) most() valuable(有价值) in(in) systems(系统中) that(that) deploy(部署) a(a) catalyst(催化剂) to(to) electrochemically(电化学) split(分裂) water() to(to) produce(产生) hydrogen(氢气) for(for) use() as(as) fuel(燃料).(.)
"(")The future(未来) renewable(可再生) economy(经济) heavily(重大) depends(取决于) on(on) how(如何) we(我们) can(能够) efficiently(有效地) split(分裂) water() to(to) generate(产生) hydrogen(氢气),"(,") Yang() said().(.) "(")This(这一) step() is(is) pretty(漂亮的) important(重要)."(.")
But() Yang() and() Koel(KOEL) emphasize(强调) that(that) their(他们) discovery(发现) isn(isn)'t('t) going() to(to) lead to(导致) a(a) rush() of(of) new(新的) affordable(负担得起) technologies(技术) just(只是) yet(然而)—or(—or) even(甚至) in(in) the near(附近) future(将来).(.) Right now(目前),(,) the procedure(过程) to(to) create(创建) the material(材料) is(is) complex(复杂) and() confined(限于) to(to) the lab(实验室).(.) While(虽然) they(他们)'ve('ve) confirmed(证实了) the performance(性能) of(of) the film(电影),(,) one(一个) always(总是) has(has) to(to) consider(考虑) the engineering(工程) required() for(for) making(制作) it() practically(实际上) on a large scale(大规模地).(.) Instead(取代),(,) this(这一) discovery(发现) is(is) opening(打开) the door(大门) to(to) further(进一步) exploration(探索) of(of) materials(材料) that(that) may(可能) be(be) able(能够) to(to) replace(替代) platinum().(.)
"We("We) still(仍然) don(don)'t('t) understand(明白) why(为什么) this(这种) particular(特殊) material(材料) is(is) so(如此) special(特殊),(,) but() we're(we're) confident(有信心) about(about) the properties(属性) that(that) we've(we've) measured(测量),"(,") Koel(KOEL) said().(.) "(")The material(材料) is(is) complicated(复杂),(,) so(所以) we(我们) have(have) a lot of(许多) work(工作) to(to) do."(do.")

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