Greek Scientists have won the European Commission’s Descartes award for research this year after developing the Hydrosol solar-hydrogen reactor. Researchers from the Center for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH) and the Laboratory of Aerosol and Particle Technology (LAPT) discovered a novel way to produce hydrogen from sunlight and steam.
The Hydrosol system uses solar energy to heat water into steam. The steam then passes through a catalytic converted built using a series of tubes. These tubes are coated with a thin layer of oxide-reducing nano-particles that absorb the oxygen atoms and let the hydrogen pass through an be captured. When the layer of oxide-reducing nano-particles becomes saturated with oxygen, making it ineffective, it is chemically reactivated with a fresh layer of nano-particles.
This process is renewable, using only solar heat and water to produce and separate hydrogen and oxygen. The process creates no emissions and was developed with the help of scientists from Germany and the United Kingdom.