Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors



Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Nano Team Increases Efficiency of Sun-to-Fuel Process

Abstract:
Researchers find great promise in a process that could use solar energy to use hydrogen, the third most abundant element on earth's surface, as the ultimate alternative to fossil fuels. This process increase dramatically the efficiency of titania photoanodes used to convert solar energy into hydrogen in fuel cells.

Nano Team Increases Efficiency of Sun-to-Fuel Process

Little Rock, AR | Posted on March 20th, 2009

Researchers at UALR -- the University of Arkansas at Little Rock -- said they have developed a process involving nanostructure that shows great promise in boosting the efficiency of titania photoanodes used to convert solar energy into hydrogen in fuel cells.

Hydrogen, the third most abundant element on earth's surface, has long been recognized as the ultimate alternative to fossil fuels as an energy carrier. Automobiles using hydrogen directly or in fuel cells have already been developed, but the biggest challenge has been how to produce hydrogen using renewable sources of energy.

Scientists in Japan discovered in 1970 that semiconductor oxide photoanodes can harness the photons from solar radiation and used them to split a water molecule into hydrogen and oxygen, but process was too inefficient to be viable.

The UALR team, working with researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno, and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority (ASTA), has reported an 80 percent increase in efficiency with a new process.

The new process has been outlined in a recent study published in the journal Nanotechnology and also reported on the website Nanotechweb.org.

Electrochemical methods were utilized to synthesize titania photoanodes with nanotubular structures. The photoanode surfaces were then subjected to low-pressure nitrogen plasma to modify their surface properties. The plasma treatment increased the light absorption by the photoanode surface. It also removed surface impurities that are detrimental for photoelectrochemical hydrogen production.

"The plasma treatment significantly enhanced the photo electrochemical activity of the samples," said Dr. Rajesh Sharma, assistant research professor in applied science in UALR's Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology (EIT). "The photocurrent density of plasma treated material was approximately 80 percent higher than that of the control electrodes."

Sharma's highly interdisciplinary research interests encompass materials science, electrostatics, and particulate technology. He developed an atmospheric pressure plasma reactor for surface modification of materials in a variety of applications.

In addition to his work on nanostructured materials for photoelectrochemical processes, he is also working on development of an electrodynamic screen for dust mitigation application for future Mars and Lunar missions.

In addition to Sharma, the project team includes Drs. Alexandru Biris, assistant professor in applied science and chief science officer of Nanotechnology Center at UALR; UALR Professor-emeritus Malay Mazumder, and UALR undergraduate student Jacob Bock of Cabot.

Team members in Nevada include Dr. Mano Misra in the Department of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering at UNR, and graduate students Prajna P. Das and Vishal Mahajan at the UNR.

Dr. Steve Trigwell, manager of the Applied Science and Technology Laboratories at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, also participated in the research.

####

About Newswise
UALR is a metropolitan university on the move, a dynamic learning institution where students find unique learning and internship opportunities provided through one-of-a-kind connections to the state’s thriving capital city.

Contacts:
Joan I. Duffy
UALR Office of Communications
(501) 569-8600

Copyright © Newswise

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

UALR

Related News Press

News and information

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Possible Futures

Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Announcements

A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014

Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014

New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014

New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 2014

Energy

Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices August 28th, 2014

Aspen Aerogels, Inc. to Present at Barclays CEO Energy-Power Conference August 27th, 2014

Competition for Graphene: Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate Ultrafast Charge Transfer in New Family of 2D Semiconductors August 26th, 2014

Chemical reaction yields "tapes" of porphin molecules: Flexible tapes from the nanoworld August 13th, 2014

Automotive/Transportation

Fonon Announces 3D Metal Sintering Technology: Emerging Additive Nano Powder Manufacturing Technology August 28th, 2014

SouthWest NanoTechnologies CEO Dave Arthur to Discuss “Carbon Nanotubes and Automotive Applications” at The Automotive Composites Conference and Expo 2014 (ACCE2014) August 28th, 2014

Creation of a Highly Efficient Technique to Develop Low-Friction Materials Which Are Drawing Attention in Association with Energy Issues August 26th, 2014

New Method Provides Nanoscale Details of Electrochemical Reactions in Electric Vehicle Battery Materials August 4th, 2014

Fuel Cells

Media Advisory: Minister Rempel to Announce Support for Alberta's Nanotechnology Sector June 20th, 2014

Evolution of a Bimetallic Nanocatalyst June 6th, 2014

University of Surrey collaborates with India and Tata Steel to revolutionise renewable energy March 26th, 2014

Novel membrane reveals water molecules will bounce off a liquid surface: Study may lead to more efficient water-desalination systems, fundamental understanding of fluid flow March 16th, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE