Montana State chemist developing catalysts for efficient energy storage

BOZEMAN — Well-known sources like sunlight, moving water and wind generate sustainable energy which can be stored for later use. But what if we could turn the air around us into usable fuel when the wind isn’t blowing?

Montana State University researcher Michael Mock envisions a future in which homes have solar panels on the roof and a machine in the basement that collects nitrogen from the air and converts it into ammonia. The compound effectively stores energy within its nitrogen-hydrogen bonds, Mock said, unlike many other sustainable energy sources which store electricity in batteries.