Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and is considered by many to be a potential clean fuel of the future. Water and fossil fuels contain large amounts of hydrogen, but unlocking molecular dihydrogen fuel from these sources takes a great deal of energy, casting doubt over any future hydrogen economy. Turning water into hydrogen using solar energy could lead the way to cheap and clean hydrogen fuel. However, this process currently relies on photocatalysts containing expensive precious metals, limiting its capacity.
Now, researchers centered at Osaka University have developed a new kind of photocatalyst for producing hydrogen from water, which is not only free of expensive metals but also absorbs a wider range of sunlight than ever before. The group recently reported their findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
“We were pleased to find a good amount of hydrogen produced from water using our new composite photocatalyst with graphitic carbon nitride and black phosphorous,” lead author Tetsuro Majima says. “But what we didn’t expect to find was that even when using low-energy light, in the near infrared, the photocatalyst continued to produce hydrogen.”
Like graphite, graphitic carbon nitride forms in large sheets, but carbon nitride sheets also have holes that can interact with hydrogen molecules. In the past, photocatalysts based on carbon nitride have needed help from precious metals to produce hydrogen from water. The researchers found the metal could be replaced by a kind of phosphorus, which is a widely abundant and inexpensive element.
They showed that their photocatalyst was effective for producing hydrogen from water using energy from different kinds of light. Most unusually, even near infrared light with low energy could drive the hydrogen production.
Studies of the working photocatalyst in the picosecond time scale revealed that strong interactions between the carbon nitride and black phosphorous in the composite promoted hydrogen production. When the two materials were tested separately, energy from the sunlight was rapidly dissipated and little or no hydrogen was produced.
Lead author Tetsuro Majima says, “The hydrogen economy faces a great many challenges, but our work demonstrates the potential for efficiently and cheaply producing hydrogen from water with a photocatalyst based on widely abundant elements. This is an important step toward making other hydrogen-based technologies economically and environmentally viable.”
Figure: Transmittance electron microscopic image of the composite photocatalyst with two components, black phosphorous (BP) and graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4). (credit : Osaka University)
The Latest on: Hydrogen from water
- Tomorrow’s brewers to tap the hydrogen they pour down the drain todayon March 22, 2020 at 5:20 pm
That’s exciting on its own, but what if the energy product is hydrogen? That would require lots of fresh water to be split by an electrolyser, and fresh water is not an industrial by-product. But ...
- The weekend read: Hydrogen is getting cheaperon March 20, 2020 at 10:37 pm
Generating hydrogen is simple in principle. Electrolysis has been around since 1800. The method known as alkaline electrolysis has been in commercial use since the middle of the 20th century. It uses ...
- Could Sinking Oil Prices Open Door For ‘Green’ Hydrogen, Some Hopeon March 20, 2020 at 11:02 am
Most hydrogen still comes from natural gas, and broad commercial adoption of hydrogen for transportation, electric and industrial applications has lagged. But some hope sinking oil prices will breathe ...
- Does hydrogen peroxide kill germs? Yes, it's effective against viruseson March 19, 2020 at 10:07 am
Hydrogen peroxide does kill germs and viruses, and a typical 3% concentration is an effective household disinfectant. Here's what you need to know.
- Hydrogen sulfide levels down, but larger AGP discharge issue remainson March 18, 2020 at 12:30 pm
AGP, the soybean processing plant on the northeast edge of Aberdeen, provided an update to the city council this week on hydrogen sulfide reduction efforts.
- German hydrogen pipeline planned to aid green industry shifton March 18, 2020 at 6:56 am
A group of gas grid operators, oil and utility firms is planning a 130-kilometre hydrogen pipeline to supply industrial customers in north-west Germany, Open Grid Europe (OGE) said. German companies ...
- Researchers improve hydrogen fuel production efficiency by 25 timeson March 18, 2020 at 5:08 am
Now, researchers have developed an efficient method that is based on the use of rust and light. This new method to improve hydrogen fuel production efficiency requires mercury-xenon lamp-based light, ...
- Global Hydrogen Market Size & Share to Show Huge Growth Opportunities through 2027on March 16, 2020 at 12:00 am
Zion Market Research, a leading market research company recently published a research report on "Hydrogen Market by Delivery Mode (Captive, Merchant), by Technology (Steam Methane Reforming, Partial ...
- You Can Theoretically Use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean Your Homeon March 15, 2020 at 7:39 am
As the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow, more and more shoppers are stocking up on cleaning supplies. In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the CDC recommends cleaning frequently ...
- Does Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Germs, Viruses, And Bacteria? Experts Weigh Inon March 15, 2020 at 3:00 am
"Hydrogen peroxide is very effective as a skin disinfectant but can inhibit wound healing," says Dr. Andrew Alexis, MD, chair of Mount Sinai West's department of dermatology. "We typically dilute it ...
via Google News and Bing News