Researchers from Stanford University in California, Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, and the University of Tennessee have developed a device that uses a 1.5-volt AAA battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis. Unlike other water splitters that use precious-metal catalysts, the electrodes in the new device are made of abundant nickel and iron. This is the first time anyone has used non-precious metal catalysts to split water at a voltage that low. The device could be used to generate hydrogen, which can be used as a fuel such as for fuel cells. The electrodes are fairly stable, but they slowly decay over time. The current prototype would likely operate for days, but weeks or months would be preferable. The researchers also plan to develop a water splitter than runs on electricity produced by solar energy.
Source: Stanford University