Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scottish scientists: 'tremendously important' breakthrough in water to hydrogen production process

Chemists in Scotland, at the Cronin laboratory in Glasgow University, have made a major advancement in the process of producing hydrogen from water that may offer cleaner and cheaper gas, and a renewable source of energy.

"The process uses a liquid that allows the hydrogen to be locked up in a liquid-based inorganic fuel," professor Lee Cronin of Glasgow University wrote in the journal Science.

"By using a liquid sponge known as a redox mediator that can soak up electrons and acid we've been able to create a system where hydrogen can be produced in a separate chamber without any additional energy input after the electrolysis of water takes place."

Cronin says the redox mediator allows hydrogen to be produced at 30 times the rate of current processes without requiring more energy.

The new process uses energy from the sun and wind, which, due to lower power outputs, produces significantly less hydrogen.

"Around 95 percent of the world's hydrogen supply is currently obtained from fossil fuels, a finite resource which we know harms the environment and speeds climate change," Cronin's report says.

"The potential for reliable hydrogen production from renewable sources is huge. The sun, for example, provides more energy in a single hour of sunlight than the entire world's population uses in a year."

"If we can tap and store even a fraction of that in the coming years and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels it will be a tremendously important step to slowing climate change."

There is also an ongoing need for Hydrogen extraction from water, coming from the world's space agencies (NASA, ESA, etc) to allow them to occupy, inhabit and produce renewable energy on Mars and other suitable exoplanets outside our Solar System.

Prof Lee Cronin is one of 10 the UK’s most inspirational scientists and engineers named as RISE Leaders for 2014 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Their contribution to science covers a broad range of disciplines and highlights the diversity and impact of the engineering and physical sciences.

More Information
'Decoupled catalytic hydrogen evolution from a molecular metal oxide redox mediator in water splitting' - Authors: Benjamin Rausch, Mark D. Symes, Greig Chisholm, Leroy Cronin - Science 12 September 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6202 pp. 1326-1330 DOI: 10.1126/science.1257443

No comments:

Post a Comment