Researchers Use Solar to Generate Hydrogen

Researchers Use Solar to Generate Hydrogen

Standford researchers have found a way to generate hydrogen fuel through the use of solar power, electrodes, and saltwater.

EBP: Mapping The Genome of Every Species?
Amazon Do Not Fall Behind FinTech Trends
Google Starts An Immersive News Initiative

Standford researchers have found a way to generate hydrogen fuel through the use of solar power, electrodes, and saltwater.

The findings were published on March 18 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences as Science Daily wrote. The research shows a new way of separating hydrogen and oxygen gas from seawater with the help of electricity.

Why is hydrogen a good option for fuel? It doesn`t emit carbon dioxide, as Hongjie Dai, a co-senior author on the paper, said. The idea is that burning hydrogen produces only water and could potentially contribute to ease the worsening of climate change problems.

Also, Dai commented that his lab showed proof-of-concept with a demo, but they are leaving it up to manufacturers to scale and mass produce the design.

The process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen with electricity is called elecrolysis. Yet, the negatively charged chloride in seawater salt can corrode the positive end, and thus limit the system`s lifespan. For this reason, Dai and his team started looking into ways to try to stop the seawater components from braking down the submerged anodes.

So, what did they managed to do? The researchers found that if they covered the anode with layers rich in negative charges, they repelled chloride and slowed down the decay of the underlying metal. When the risk of corrosion from salts was prevented, the device could match current technologies that use purified water.

Michael Kenney, a graduate student in the Dai lab and co-lead author of the paper, commented:

“The impressive thing about this study was that we were able to operate at electrical currents that are the same as what is used in industry today.”

It`s surprisingly simple, according to Dai and Kenney. The basic way of achieving elecrolysis with seawater is being figured out. The new method may open doors for invreasing the availability of hydrogen fuel that is powered by solar or wind energy. And this might be a great first step for a more sustainable world.

The study is available here.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 0