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Nano Discovery in Efficient Solar to Hydrogen Production

Nano HydrogenResearchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Northeastern University have discovered an important finding on a nano scale in regard to solar to hydrogen production. The scientists have discovered that tiny amounts of potassium on the nanotubes help break the bonds of water, creating hydrogen in a more efficient manner.

Producing efficient solar nanotubes with large surface areas helps bring down the costs of using sunlight to split water via electrolysis and create hydrogen. The researchers were studying the effects of using titania (or titanium dioxide) and carbon on the nanotubes, when they stumbled upon a discovery when using an X-ray spectroscopy beamline at the NIST facility.

What they found was that during the fabrication process of the nanotubes using potassium salts, trace amounts of potassium ions were left behind. The scientists compared the nanotubes with and without potassium ions and found the ones with potassium ions to be one-third more efficient at producing hydrogen.

The efficient production of hydrogen from solar power is something that researchers around the world have been working on for the last decade. The discovery by NIST and Northeastern University may help commercialize cheap hydrogen production on a large scale in multiple locations and usher in the adoption of hydrogen cars much sooner than anticipated.

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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2 comments

  1. It seems to be extremely hard to research the various methods of
    producing hydrogen let alone storing it. I fear that Obama is tipping the
    balance against hydrogen in favor of plug-in cars to the tune of billions
    of dollars. It seems to be working as Honda now appears ro be favorable
    to BEV’s and PHEV’s (no fuel cell). Honda wasn’t not too long ago.

    I hate to think that both Honda and Toyota are giving up on fuel cell
    cars.

    Here is this research into how to crack water using sunlight that
    discovered a new catalyst, potassium, at a time when possibly
    noone in the auto industry is serious anymore about hydrogen.
    Maybe hydrogen cars will happen when it is easy to produce’
    hydrogen and people realize that stationary fuel cells are a better
    idea than diesel generators.

    Maybe it’s time to lobby for more hydrogen pipelines and running
    more cities on fuel cell power plants.

  2. CaliforniaView

    The ONLY reason Hydrogen Cars are not the Number one Selling Drive System on Cars today is because they refuse to SELL them.

    The Demand exists!!

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