Researchers from Lancaster University have created a method using quantum technology to produce renewable fuel from water.
The team, led by Manus Hayne, Ph.D., from the Department of Physics, have found an efficient and cost-effective method to create renewable hydrogen.
“Fossil-fuel combustion releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, causing global climate change, and there is only a finite amount of them available for extraction,” Hayne said in a statement. “We clearly need to transition to a renewable and low-greenhouse-gas energy infrastructure, and renewable hydrogen is expected to play an important role.”
The new study provides the basis for further experimental work into the solar production of hydrogen as a renewable fuel.
The researchers used nanostructures to increase the maximum photovoltage generated in a photoelectrochemical cell to increase the productivity of splitting water molecules.
Photovoltaic solar cells convert sunlight directly into electricity but solar hydrogen is easier to store so it can be used only when needed. Hydrogen is also extremely flexible, making it advantageous for remote communities.
Fossil fuels account for approximately 90 percent of the energy consumption in 2015, with demand continuing to increase due to a growing global population and increasing industrialization.
The study was published in Scientific Reports.