from neatorama, MIT, and Next Big Future
platinum black was about the only thing that worked. It's pretty expensive to begin with, and expensive (and toxic) to make it into the extremely high surface area powder required to be a useful catalyst..
A good, stable, cheap, non-toxic catalyst that can replace platinum black has been a "holy grail" of chemistry for a long time. Daniel Nocera just got on my list.
A LOT of things will benefit from this.
This video came out in 2009, but explains well why this is a big deal.
update, another, more recent video