Green hydrogen: the new catalyst that generates hydrogen from the combination of sunlight and water
Innovation comes from the University of Michigan. Green hydrogen will be generated by a new catalyst 10 times more efficient than previous systems
The University of Michigan Team led by Professor Zetian Mi has developed a new catalyst capable of generating green hydrogen directly from sunlight and water.
An unprecedented innovation that has reached 9% efficiency.
Green hydrogen: the new catalyst avoids the degradation process
Some of the approaches to solar hydrogen production, such as photoelectrochemical water splitting, require a corrosive electrolyte, thereby limiting performance stability and, most importantly, environmental sustainability.
This innovation was developed with the aim of achieving high efficiency using pure water, concentrated sunlight and a photocatalyst of indium and gallium nitride. The new solar panel is able to convert water and solar energy into hydrogen and oxygen.
In particular, gallium has the ability to withstand a light corresponding to 160 suns ; in addition, it improves its performance with use, avoiding the degradation process to which the
classic photocatalysts are intended. The success of the new solar panel also stems from the fact that it can operate at an optimal reaction temperature.
Peng Zhou, a researcher in electrical and computer engineering of the theme, says:" We have reduced the semiconductor size by more than 100 times compared to some semiconductors that only work at low light intensity. The hydrogen produced by our technology could be very cheap."
Within the testing laboratory, the new solar catalyst has achieved an efficiency of 9%. The outdoor version with sunlight achieved an efficiency of 6.1% in transforming the sun’s energy into green hydrogen fuel.
The team’s goal now is to increase efficiency and achieve ultra-high purity hydrogen.
L’obiettivo del team è ora quello di aumentare l’efficienza e ottenere idrogeno ad altissima purezza.
Image source: Università del Michigan - idrogeno verde