Australian Scientists have developed a new kind of catalyst that can turn seawater into hydrogen fuel.
This type of technology has already been available but in the past it always required more energy to convert seawater to hydrogen fuel than it produced in fuel.
This new development can create much more hydrogen fuel and energy than it requires to convert it into this fuel.
Several scientists at the Australia University of Wollongong have invented a way to turn sea water into hydrogen in order to produce a virtually unlimited clean energy source.
Does this sound like something out of Back To The Future? It definitely sounds like a sci-phi dream come true but this is much more than a dream as these scientists have achieved the remarkable.
Their system can take five liters of sea water and produce enough hydrogen to provide electricity service to the average home and an electric car for an entire day.
We are talking about energy for an Australian household. Remember it gets kind of hot in Australia so this is no small amount of energy we are talking about.
This team of scientists is located at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES). Their technology relies on a light assisted catalyst that does not use as much energy to start the water oxidation process as this technique has needed in the past.
The catalyst process is the most important process to get right in order to create hydrogen fuel at an affordable cost which requires an efficient method of splitting water to produce hydrogen fuel.
I have spoken with scientists and intelligent college students about the wonders of hydrogen fuel and using water to power things and the conversation always gets back to the fact that it costs too much money to convert water to hydrogen.
If your fuel source needs more energy input to create the eventual energy output than how is that going to help anything or anyone out? It doesn’t which is why this little idea has yet to see the light of day until now.
When you can start up the oxidation process with less energy than is output you are on to something that offers a valuable energy solution for society but yet you still have the problem of the creation of deadly chlorine gas that is produced in the process.
When seawater goes through the oxidation process it creates a poisonous chlorine gas that then creates a host of other problems that need a solution.
The good news is that with the help of Professor Jun Chen and Professor Gerry Swiegers an artificial chlorophyll has been created that lays on a thin conductive metal film that itself acts as a catalyst to start the splitting of water.
This catalyst may also assist not only in creating cheap hydrogen fuel but also reduce the negative effects of the poisonous gas that is created in the process.
After reading selections from the journal of Chemical Science we learned that Professor Jun Chen’s flexible polymer would allow this new fuel source conversion to be created much easier for many different applications than your standard metal semiconductor.
The major benefit to this new technology is the cheap renewable fuel source we now have available and a secondary but almost as important benefit is the flexibility with which this can be used in many different portable hydrogen-producing applications.
These scientists achievement is dual in nature as they have gone beyond just inventing a cheap fuel source by inventing a way to use it practically through it’s small flexible portable technology.