Abstract by Matthew Richards
Physics and Astronomy
Synthesis of Platinum Nanoparticles for Catalysis
As the demand for energy continues to grow, different sources of energy are being explored. Hydrogen fuel has and continues to be explored as an economically viable alternative yet many hurdles remain. The production of Hydrogen is at this point in time not an energy efficient process.
Platinum nanoparticles present a possible solution to this problem in the form of an extremely effective catalyst in hydrogen forming reactions. Ferritin is a natural choice for the production of platinum nanoparticles. Ferritin is an iron-storage, hollow-sphere protein found in all mammals. The native iron core, a ferrihydrite mineral, usefully acts as a semiconductor in the UV range and can readily reduce ions in solution. By combining ferritin with platinum ions in solution and exposing the mixture to UV light, we are seeking to produce Platinum nanoparticles. With these nanoparticles, we are then seeking to form hydrogen gas in a chemical reaction involving methyl viologen and citrate.