‘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
- Yes, the U.S. Navy Wants to Harvest the Sun’s Energyon May 22, 2020 at 10:20 am
It then casually and quietly mentioned how the Naval Research Laboratory is planning to harvest the sun’s energy for use on Earth. “A third experiment, designed by the Naval Research Laboratory, ...
- Energy Harvesting System Market to See Huge Growth by 2025 | Maxim Integrated, Cypress Semiconductor, Wurth Electronicson May 22, 2020 at 9:05 am
Energy Harvesting System Market Research Study - The exploration report comprised with market data derived from primary as well as secondary research techniques. The points covered in this study are ...
- Harvesting electricity from shadowon May 22, 2020 at 8:54 am
Researchers in Singapore have created a device that can produce electricity from the contrast in illumination between lit and shadowed areas under weak ambient light. Although not directly related to ...
- Energy Harvesting Market 2020 Forecast Analysis by 2027: ABB, Honeywell International, Schneider Electric, Siemens AG, etc.on May 21, 2020 at 9:04 am
The report on the Energy Harvesting market by Reports and Data provides an in-depth view of the current scenario ...
- Montana at crossroads with future of energy gridon May 19, 2020 at 6:30 am
The Overton window is the range of policies politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time. Inside of this Overton window, we see the constant battle back and ...
- 2020 Innovations in Renewable Energy and Energy Storage - Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to Threaten the Energy Sector - ResearchAndMarkets.comon May 12, 2020 at 9:43 am
The "Innovations in Renewable Energy and Energy Storage" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.This edition of the Energy and Power Systems TechVision Opportunity Engine (TOE) ...
- Mouser adds Gecko Series for secure energy efficiencyon May 12, 2020 at 3:51 am
Wireless Gecko SoC families from Silicon Labs available from Mouser Electronics now include the EFR32BG22 (BG22), EFR32MG22 (MG22) and EFR32FG22 (FG22) SoC ...
- Spintronic devices for energy-efficient data storage and energy harvestingon May 7, 2020 at 2:22 am
Here, we provide an overview of the current status of research and technology developments in data storage and spin-mediated energy harvesting in relation to energy-efficient technologies.
- Energy: Harvesting a Strategic Locationon May 4, 2020 at 1:30 am
Energy: Harvesting a Strategic Location Energy: Harvesting a Strategic Location... Last year, Greece announced its ambitions for the decarbonization of an energy system currently reliant on ...
- Squeezing every drop!on May 3, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Interest in energy harvesting technology has been growing for many years, with new implementations being based on thermal gradients, photovoltaics, vibrational forces, RF, etc. The rate at which these ...
via Bing News