Jun 19, 2017 05:46 AM EDT
Researchers from Australia and the United States were reported to take a step further into the future of fueling machines. The teams were said to develop solar energy-based materials in providing cleaner and cheaper hydrogen fuel in the future.
According to Link TV, researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology developed a "solar paint" which provides clean hydrogen fuel for the people as long as there is water vapor in the air. The solar material was identified to absorb the moisture from the air due to its molybdenum compound holding it in.
With that said, the solar paint was mentioned to have a polymer called sulfur-rich molybdenum sulfides, which is bonded to a layer of titanium oxide. Afterward, the titanium oxide transforms the captured moisture from the air through turning solar energy into electrical energy.
Moreover, the solar paint works due to the electrical energy separating hydrogen and oxygen from the harnessed water molecules. Yet, the molybdenum sulfides were responsible for holding up another slot for a water molecule instead of letting gases escape when the molecule separation happens. Further details about the solar paint were published in the American Chemical Society's journal ACSNano.
"Our new development has a big range of advantages. There's no need for clean or filtered water to feed the system. Any place that has water vapor in the air, even remote areas far from water, can produce fuel," study lead researcher Dr.Torben Daeneke said in a statement.
On the other hand, scientists from the Osaka University were also stated to develop a method for using solar energy in hydrogen fuel. The study authors produced a solar material that is based on gold and black phosphorus. The solar material could be used in gathering a wider spectrum of sunlight as reported by Science Daily.
The solar material has a traditional semiconductor, lanthanum titanium oxide (LTO) as its core mixed with ultrathin sheets of the element black phosphorus (BP). "BP is a wonderful material for solar applications, because we can tune the frequency of light just by varying its thickness, from ultrathin to bulk," lead author, Tetsuro Majima explained.
Nonetheless, the Australian team considers the solar paint as something to revolutionize the way people fuel machines. The solar paint compared to the steam reforming process used in getting hydrogen fuels is identified to be cheaper and greener. Meanwhile, the Osaka researchers also believe that harvesting solar energy for hydrogen fuel will aid in cleaning up the earth.
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