Researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland (still part of the UK after the vote) have discovered a way to produce hydrogen 30 times faster than current renewable methods. This method allows hydrogen to be produced using less electricity, at atmospheric pressure and do so using renewable energy such as wind or solar.
Professor Lee Cronin from the School of Chemistry at Glasgow University said, “The process uses a liquid that allows the hydrogen to be locked up in a liquid-based inorganic fuel. By using a liquid sponge known as a redox mediator that can soak up electrons and acid we’ve been able to create a system where hydrogen can be produced in a separate chamber without any additional energy input after the electrolysis of water takes place.
“The link between the rate of water oxidation and hydrogen production has been overcome, allowing hydrogen to be released from the water 30 times faster than the leading PEME process on a per-milligram-of-catalyst basis.”
The current state-of-the-art method of producing hydrogen using renewable methods relies upon proton exchange membrane electrolysers or PEMEs. If the redox mediator method can be scaled up to commercial production levels, then hydrogen production from sun and wind will be advanced in many locations around the world.