Navigation Links
An improved, cost-effective catalyst for water-splitting devices
Date:1/8/2014

Solar energy appears to be the only form of renewable that can be exploited at level that matches the world's growing needs. However, it is equally necessary to find efficient ways to store solar energy in order to ensure a consistent energy supply when sunlight is scarce. One of the most efficient ways to achieve this is to use solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and get the energy back by consuming hydrogen in a fuel cell. But collecting solar energy on a large and sustainable scale means that such cells must be made from materials that are cheap, abundant, and have 10% solar‐to‐hydrogen conversion efficiency. Publishing in Nature Communications, an EPFL-led team of scientists has found a method to create a high-efficiency, scalable solar water splitting device using cheap materials.

Although one of the best means of sourcing renewable energy, solar systems cannot consistently produce adequate energy since sunlight varies from time to time and place to place. A solution to this problem is a device that can store energy in the form of hydrogen for later use, offering a consistent output over time with very little pollution.

One of the most sustainable methods of producing hydrogen is photoelectrochemical (PEC) water-splitting. Solar energy is used to break water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called "hydrogen evolution reaction". This reaction requires a catalyst, which is a chemical agent that increases its speed. In PEC water-splitting devices, a common catalyst used to split water is platinum, which is deposited on the surface of the solar panel's photocathode the solar panel's electrode that converts light into electric current.

A research team at EPFL has now found a way to make efficient solar-powered water splitting devices using abundant and cheap materials. The group of Xile Hu developed a molybdenum-sulfide catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction, and the group of Michael Grtzel developed copper(I) oxide as a photocathode. The researchers found that the molybdenum sulfide can be deposited on the copper(I) oxide photocathode for use in PEC water splitting through a simple deposition process that can be easily expanded onto a large scale.

The technique shows comparable efficiency to other hydrogen evolution reaction catalysts like platinum, it preserves the optical transparency for the light-harvesting surface and it shows improved stability under acidic conditions, which could translate into lower maintenance. But more importantly, both the catalyst and the photocathode are made with cheap, earth-abundant materials that could greatly reduce the cost of PEC water-splitting devices in the future. According to senior author Xile Hu, the work represents a state-of-the-art example for solar hydrogen production devices.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nik Papageorgiou
n.papageorgiou@epfl.ch
Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Molecular Velcro may lead to cost-effective alternatives to natural antibodies
2. A cost-effective way toward personalized cancer drugs
3. Researchers develop rapid, cost-effective early detection method for organ transplant injury
4. Cost-effective: Universal HIV testing in India
5. A new cost-effective genome assembly process
6. Cost-effective production of infrared lenses
7. Rice scientists ID new catalyst for cleanup of nitrites
8. New catalyst could cut cost of making hydrogen fuel
9. Diamond catalyst shows promise in breaching age-old barrier
10. Metal-free catalyst outperforms platinum in fuel cell
11. Mysterious catalyst explained
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/3/2017)...  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis Corporation,s ... statistically significant association between the potency of ... objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. The ... cancer patients will respond to CAR-T cell ... to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and cell ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... PUNE, India , March 28, 2017 ... (Analog, IP, Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), ... Maintenance), Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", ... 30.37 Billion in 2016 and is projected to reach ... 15.4% between 2017 and 2022. The base year considered ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar. 23, 2017 Research ... Anti-Theft System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 8.8% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... PARK, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... ... the publication of “Label-free isolation of prostate circulating tumor cells using Vortex microfluidic ... is the result of a collaboration with Dr. Dino Di Carlo and Dr. Matthew ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Cambridge Semantics , the leading ... year’s Bio-IT World Conference and Expo in Boston May 23-25 with a ... The Anzo Smart Data Lake is also a finalist for the Best of ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics and ... booth B2 at the Association for Pathology Informatics Annual Summit at ... to demonstrating its Cancer Diagnostic Cockpit and Consultation Portal, Inspirata will present research ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 ... ... for its QED Proof-of-Concept Program. Academic researchers with technologies ripe for commercialization, ... Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, are encouraged to submit proposals. QED, now in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: