Researchers discover a renewable hydrogen fuel production method using seawaterJune 3, 2016
Research team uses seawater to produce hydrogen peroxide
Seawater may become a new source for hydrogen fuel, according to a team of Japanese and South Korean researchers. The research team has discovered a way to extract hydrogen peroxide from seawater and believe that this method could be used to make solar fuels in a sustainable fashion. Solar fuels are those generated through the use of solar energy. Hydrogen can be produced using solar power, which makes the hydrogen production process significantly more environmentally friendly than it is currently.
Solar energy is used to generate hydrogen
Researchers were interested to use seawater rather than fresh water to generate hydrogen fuel, largely because seawater is far more abundant. Using solar energy to generate hydrogen from seawater is ideal because solar power is also abundant and renewable. The research team has used a photochemical cell for this purpose, producing hydrogen peroxide as a form to store solar power as chemical energy. Hydrogen peroxide is easier to store and transport than gaseous hydrogen, making it a more ideal form of chemical storage for renewable energy.
Renewable hydrogen production continues to be a priority for research organizations interested in clean energy
Renewable hydrogen fuel production has become a very important focus for many research organizations throughout the world. Conventional production methods rely heavily on fossil-fuels and the use of fresh water, which is broken down into its chemical elements to make hydrogen accessible. Conventional production is also somewhat expensive, hydrogen relatively unattractive to those interested in clean energy. By using renewable energy, hydrogen can be made more popular and could become a truly sustainable form of fuel.
Using renewable energy to produce hydrogen may determine the future of the fuel cell market
It may be some years before the research team’s renewable hydrogen fuel production method becomes commercially viable. There are several other organizations using solar energy to produce hydrogen that may be closer to the commercialization of their solutions. In the future, renewable hydrogen production may determine the ultimate success of fuel cells and whether or not these energy systems can compete with other clean technologies.