‘This unassisted water splitting, which is very rare, does not require expensive or scarce resources.’
Team reports first ‘unassisted’ water splitting using only hematite and silicon as solar absorbers,
Finding an efficient solar water splitting method to mine electron-rich hydrogen for clean power has been thwarted by the poor performance of hematite. But by ‘re-growing’ the mineral’s surface, a smoother version of hematite doubled electrical yield, opening a new door to energy-harvesting artificial photosynthesis, according to a report published online today in the journal Nature Communications.
Re-grown hematite proved to be a better power generating anode, producing a record low turn-on voltage that enabled the researchers to be the first to use earth-abundant hematite and silicon as the sole light absorbers in artificial photosynthesis, said Boston College associate professor of chemistry Dunwei Wang, a lead author of the report.
The new hydrogen harvesting process achieved an overall efficiency of 0.91 percent, a ‘modest’ mark in and of itself, but the first ‘meaningful efficiency ever measured by hematite and amorphous silicon, two of the most abundant elements on Earth,’ the team reported.
‘By simply smoothing the surface characteristics of hematite, this close cousin of rust can be improved to couple with silicon, which is derived from sand, to achieve complete water splitting for solar hydrogen generation,’ said Wang, whose research focuses on discovering new methods to generate clean energy. ‘This unassisted water splitting, which is very rare, does not require expensive or scarce resources.’
Wang said the findings represent an important step toward realizing the potential performance theoretical models have predicted for hematite, an iron oxide similar to rust.
‘This offers new hope that efficient and inexpensive solar fuel production by readily available natural resources is within reach,’ said Wang. ‘Getting there will contribute to a sustainable future powered by renewable energy.’
The team, which included researchers from Boston College, UC Berkeley and China’s University of Science and Technology, decided to focus on hematite’s surface imperfections, which have been found in earlier studies to limit ‘turn-on’ voltage required to jump-start photoelectrochemistry, the central process behind using artificial photosynthesis to capture and store solar energy in hydrogen gas.
The team re-evaluated hematite surface features using a synchrotron particle accelerator at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. They established a new ‘re-growth’ strategy that applied an acidic solution to the material under intense heat, a process that simultaneously reduced ridges and filled depressions, smoothing the surface.
Tests immediately showed an improvement in turn-on voltage, as well as an increase in photovoltage from 0.24 volts to 0.80 volts, a dramatic increase in power generation.
The team reported that further modifications to the new hematite-silicon method make it amenable to large-scale utilization. Furthermore, the ‘re-growth’ technique may be applicable to other materials under study for additional breakthroughs in artificial photosynthesis.
The Latest on: Energy harvesting
via Google News
The Latest on: Energy harvesting
- Ubiquitous Energy Launches Transparent Solar Window Technology Research and Testing Programon August 14, 2019 at 6:00 am
“This novel and patent-protected technology will provide a truly transparent energy harvesting solution to the Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) market enabling zero net energy buildings and ...
- Material challenges in renewable energyon August 14, 2019 at 4:22 am
For example, NextGen Nano’s PolyPower blends earth-friendly polymers with organic polymer solar cells (PSCs) to provide a lightweight, flexible and potentially inexpensive approach to solar energy ...
- Automotive Energy Harvesting and Regeneration Market with Growing CAGR in Forecast Period 2019 to 2026on August 12, 2019 at 11:48 pm
Aug 13, 2019 (Global QYResearch via COMTEX) -- A new research report titled “Global Automotive Energy Harvesting and Regeneration Market” successfully exhibits the complete scenario of the global and ...
- Energy Harvesting System Market 2019|Top Key Players Analysis, Trends, Global Size Forecast To 2024on August 12, 2019 at 2:15 am
Aug 12, 2019 (Heraldkeepers) -- New York, August 12, 2019: The report covers detailed competitive outlook including the market share and company profiles of the key participants operating in the ...
- IIT- M , NIOT Researchers developing turbines to convert wave energy to electricityon August 8, 2019 at 1:44 pm
“Wave-energy harvesting turbines capture the energy of the periodic up-down motion of ocean waves through a device called Oscillating Water Column. One such turbine called impulse turbine is connected ...
- IIT Madras & NIOT Researchers developing turbines to convert wave energy to electricityon August 8, 2019 at 1:30 am
Elaborating on this, Dr Abdus Samad said, “Wave-energy harvesting turbines capture the energy of the periodic up-down motion of ocean waves through a device called Oscillating Water Column.
- Transmembrane Temperature Differences Increase Salinity Gradient Energy Productionon August 7, 2019 at 7:38 am
concerns about nanofluidic salinity gradient energy harvesting through membranes or ion channels have recently been growing due to the developments in materials science and nanotechnology. (a) ...
- Ionic thermal up-diffusion boosts energy harvestingon August 6, 2019 at 7:49 am
Salinity gradient energy is recognized as a promising candidate for the substitution of traditional fossil fuels. Recently nanofluidic salinity gradient energy harvesting via ion channels or ...
- Energy harvesting BLE switch development kit for SIPon August 6, 2019 at 4:13 am
The ON Semiconductor Energy Harvesting Bluetooth Low Energy Switch is a comprehensive reference design for energy harvesting applications comprising lighting, door and window control, and step ...
- 3D Printing for Wearables, Energy Storage, and Practical E-Textiles Using Silk Fibroin and Carbon Nanotube Inkson August 5, 2019 at 3:38 am
outlines a new method of 3D printing that could be the catalyst for creating energy harvesting fabrics in E-textiles, leading to better performance in electronics and wearables. As consumer ...
via Bing News