Caltech researchers set sights on hydrogen fuel production

Caltech researchers set sights on hydrogen fuel production

April 27, 2013 0 By Alicia Moore

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Caltech Hydrogen Fuel Research

Researchers work to develop better way to produce hydrogen fuel

As renewable energy comes to play a larger role in the U.S., it is becoming increasingly important to develop efficient ways to produce sustainable power. In this regard, using renewable energy to produce even more renewable energy has garnered a significant amount of attention from researchers throughout the country. A team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology has been working to develop a way to use solar energy to produce hydrogen fuel.

Renewable energy may aid the success of hydrogen

Hydrogen fuel production using renewable sources of energy has become a very popular concept. Production has long been a major stumbling block for hydrogen in the field of energy due to the fact that hydrogen production is an energy intensive process itself. Most conventional production methods are based on the use of large amounts of fossil-fuels, diminishing the environmental friendly aspects of hydrogen fuel. Using renewable energy, however, could make hydrogen fuel production significantly more viable.


Clean Energy Quotes To Remember - “For example, a breakthrough in better batteries could supplant hydrogen. Better solar cells could replace or win out in this race to the fuel of the future. Those, I see, as the three big competitors: hydrogen, solar cells and then better batteries.”

- Bob Inglis, Politician


Team developing solar energy system that can produce hydrogen gas

The team of researchers has been working on a way to convert water into hydrogen, using sunlight as an energy source. Researchers believe that solar energy could be the key to efficient hydrogen fuel production this process has already been demonstrated successfully by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where chemist Daniel Nocera developed an artificial leaf that is capable of mimicking photosynthesis.

Haile to assist in the development of renewable energy production system

Sossina Haile, a professor of material science and chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, is one of the members of the research team. Haile is often credited as the creator of a new kind of hydrogen fuel cell, which is based entirely on the use of solar energy. This fuel cell does not use metallic catalysts, relying instead on concentrated sunlight to produce hydrogen fuel. The fuel cell currently only exists as a prototype, but Haile is expected to bring significant experience concerning fuel cell technology to the research efforts.