A nanomaterial has been created that can extract pure hydrogen from water using only light
Inspired by photosynthetic bacteria, a new nanomaterial has been created that can extract hydrogen from both fresh and salt water. This is a significant breakthrough in green energy that only requires solar energy to operate.
According to a report by Interesting Engineering, the innovative technique was published in the journal, Nature Catalysis. Scientists believe that this technology has enormous potential to convert hydrogen production into an environmentally friendly fuel.
To develop the nanomaterial, scientists reproduced a special structure of microbes that acts as a light sensor. Using light energy, the nanomaterial triggers photocatalysis, which is a chemical reaction that creates hydrogen and other materials.
In a successful study, the scientists were able to extract hydrogen from salt water, which can be used in fuel cells and other industrial applications. David Lee Phillips, a leading physical chemist at the University of Hong Kong, noted that the nanomaterial's remarkable stability in ambient water is a significant achievement since most photocatalysis reactions are typically unstable in water.
Phillips and his team are developing photocatalysis toolkits that can convert carbon dioxide into useful substances. The new method, using nanomaterials, can increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of various processes, since it does not require any complex control over ambient temperature and pressure.
The nanomaterial system can also serve as a filter, producing pure hydrogen through catalysis, instead of other substances such as ammonia or hydrocarbons that impair the performance of devices, such as fuel cells, as explained by Guo Zhengxiao, a professor of chemistry and mechanical engineering at the University of Hong Kong.
The most significant achievement of the system is that it requires only sunlight as an energy source, making it a genuinely eco-friendly and cost-effective selective process for production.
Zhengxiao highlights the potential of this technology and says that with further research and practical application, it could significantly transform the global energy landscape.
Phillips also points out that the new material can increase the efficiency and durability of hydrogen production, leading to an improvement in the lifespan of solar panels and related devices.
In a previous article, OBOZREVATEL reported that scientists had developed a method for generating electricity from the air.