Driving Hydrogen Production from Water: Boosting Several Industries

By Energy CIO Insights | Friday, March 08, 2019

Hydrogen plays a significant role in the economy today, especially in the power and transportation sectors.  A recent survey claims that hydrogen and other battery technologies determine the future of public transport. Human beings are solely responsible for harnessing and storing renewable energy to experience carbon-free fuel world in the future.

Storing intermittent sources like solar and wind is the prime responsibility of humans. Researchers from Toronto Engineering University have developed an affordable new catalyst to produce hydrogen. The new catalyst improves clean energy technologies and thereby increases the production of hydrogen fuel. To produce hydrogen gas, there are modern techniques like electrolysis. But, the electrolysis process needs additional improvements in terms of longevity, cost, and efficiency to enhance fresh strategy in producing hydrogen. Researchers have been using different techniques to boost the production of hydrogen from water. The researchers will continue using electricity to produce hydrogen from water. Later, they will reverse the process into an electrochemical cell. If it works out, the process will have many applications including fertilizers to fuel industry.

Many research labs from around the world have been involved in creating a catalyst for boosting hydrogen production.  Compared to other catalysts, currently platinum comes under the best performing catalyst list. As it is costly and operates only in acidic conditions, other catalysts like copper, nickel, and chromium are preferred. They are available in abundance and are less costly compared to platinum.

Seawater, the most abundant source of water on earth has high hydrogen content. As traditional catalysts require the removal of salt from the water, desalination process has been in progress.  A team from the Sargent's lab is listed one among the five finalists of NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize. The researchers of the lab have been vying to win the grand prize of around $7.5 million. The goal of the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize is to convert waste CO2 into fuels or other value-added products.

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