With an aim to tackle one of the world’s biggest energy challenges clean fuel for transportation, researchers in the US have developed a new technology to make clean hydrogen fuel.
Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, which emit carbon dioxide (CO2), cars using hydrogen are emission-free.
However, making hydrogen fuel involves burning natural gas that releases CO2 into the atmosphere. To address this challenge, researchers at Stanford University focused on an emerging technology called photovoltaic water splitting. It consists of a solar-powered electrode immersed in water. When sunlight hits the electrode, it generates an electric current that splits the water into its constituent parts, hydrogen and oxygen.
But conventional solar electrodes made of silicon quickly corrode when exposed to oxygen a key byproduct of water splitting. The team buses bismuth van a date an inexpensive compound that absorbs sunlight and generates modest amounts of electricity to overcome this problem, according to the study published recently in the journal Science Advances “Bismuth vanadate has been widely regarded as a promising material for photoelectrochemical water splitting, in part because of its low cost and high stability against corrosion,” said Yi Cui of Stanford University.