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HyperSolar’s Sunlight Plus Water Equals Hydrogen Proof of Concept

On May 16, 2012 I had talked about HyperSolar Inc.’s new sunlight plus water equals hydrogen breakthrough technology that seems like it could be a breakthrough in the field. The solar cells are actually in the water where electrolysis takes place.

And since the solar cells have a low cost polymer coating, any kind of water including waste water can be used to produce hydrogen. The seemed, at the time, almost too good to be true.

But yet now HyperSolar has kicked it up a notch with an end to end lab scale demonstration proof of concept. You can watch the Youtube video here.

According to HyperSolar’s CEO Tim Young, “Using our self-contained particle in a low cost plastic bag, we have successfully demonstrated our ability to mimic photosynthesis to produce renewable hydrogen from virtually any source of water using the power of the Sun. Unlike approaches taken by others in the past, our small scale solar devices actually float in the water. Our next step is to complete the development of our nanoparticles, extremely small solar devices, optimized to significantly reduce the cost of separating hydrogen from water.”

Admittedly after watching the video one may be underwhelmed since this is still a basic science experiment of sorts. But the implications are huge. If this technology can be scaled up and used globally this would mean that hydrogen could be produced anywhere, anytime there is sunlight and some sort of water source even water that is not pure enough to drink.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola

I’m a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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5 comments

  1. Michael Robinson

    This demostration took apparently very little area. If one of these bags that is maybe covering a square foot max can power a small fan, what can be done with 20 square feet? How about 100 square feet? I agree the demostration isn’t that impressive. However, the use of a solar reactive agent that is potentially very low cost and may scale is very important. This is certainly a positive step.

    If separating hydrogen from water becomes trivial, storing hydrogen is solved, and low cost fuel cells become a reality then hydrogen transport really is just around the corner.

  2. admin

    Yes, I can’t wait to see the scaled up version of this demonstration to the point where a meaningful amount of hydrogen is created in a small amount of space.

  3. Low Cost Hydrogen

    Hydrogen is the most environmentally friendly fuel. Product of burning hydrogen is water, which results from the simple equation of this chemical reaction 2H2 + O2 = 2H2O.

    The electrolysis (producing hydrogen from water takes place by passing a strong electric spark) is still the only way to produce hydrogen. Other methods are either technically impossible or too expensive as well as the expensive electrolysis. In order to obtain very small quantities of hydrogen by electrolysis, a very much electrical energy is required what makes the hydrogen very expensive.

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  4. Michael C. Robinson

    Apply this technology out on the ocean.

    They used salt water in the demonstration, so the ocean is ideal.

    There are plenty of tapped out oil platforms offshore or their will be.

    The tapped out oil platform might be retrofitted for use of this technology.
    A central tower can rise maybe 20′ above the surface of the ocean and a
    flat platform can be built say 250 square feet with the tower at the center.
    In this tower there can be pipelines for oxygen and hydrogen that go
    underwater and terminate on land. Also in the tower a water pump is
    needed to bring water up onto the patform to be split. Instead of flexible plastic, how about plexiglass? A small solar panel can power the pump.

    I haven’t done the math or the engineering to determine platform height or square footage based on what the pipelines can handle and what will hold
    up in a bad storm, but if someone does it would be interesting to hear what they come up with. The square footage of the platform depends on the capacity of the pipelines and the strength of the tower. The Pacific Ocean is probably a better choice than the Caribbean Ocean and Atlantic Ocean because of hurricane frequency.

    If anyone is interested in this idea who has engineering skills, please comment. It would be great to see something like this get implemented.

  5. every water utility /dam/lake/gravel pit/utilised.

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