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Chem Soc Rev. 2009 Jan;38(1):109-14. doi: 10.1039/b802885k. Epub 2008 Nov 28.

Cobalt-phosphate oxygen-evolving compound.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, 6-335, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307, USA.


The utilization of solar energy on a large scale requires efficient storage. Solar-to-fuels has the capacity to meet large scale storage needs as demonstrated by natural photosynthesis. This process uses sunlight to rearrange the bonds of water to furnish O2 and an H2-equivalent. We present a tutorial review of our efforts to develop an amorphous cobalt-phosphate catalyst that oxidizes water to O2. The use of earth-abundant materials, operation in water at neutral pH, and the formation of the catalyst in situ captures functional elements of the oxygen evolving complex of Photosystem II.

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