The work uses a stream of high-energy neutrons to observe what happens to hydrogen atoms (i.e. individual protons) when ice is pressurized to extreme levels -- 500,000 times atmospheric pressure. Because ice crystallizes through hydrogen bonds, these extreme pressures were once predicted to provide an alternative mechanism for water dissociation by direct, high-strength hydrogen-hydrogen bonding. These predictions appear to have proven true.
What does this imply for the future of hydrogen production? My first thought is that these extreme pressures -- half a MILLION times atmospheric pressure -- may make this work impractical for use in real-life situations. But what if similar effects were observed at more manageable levels -- say, 100 or 1000 times atmospheric pressure. Could these effects provide a more economical, less energy-intensive mechanism for producing and storing hydrogen molecules, instead of low-efficiency electrolysis?
Source from Carnegie: https://carnegiescience.edu/news/unfrozen_mystery_h2o_reveals_new_secret