Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International



Home > Press > New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

Artist's conceptualization of the hybrid nanomaterial photocatalyst that's able to generate solar energy and extract hydrogen gas from seawater.
CREDIT
University of Central Florida
Artist's conceptualization of the hybrid nanomaterial photocatalyst that's able to generate solar energy and extract hydrogen gas from seawater. CREDIT University of Central Florida

Abstract:
It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF researcher Yang Yang has come up with a new hybrid nanomaterial that harnesses solar energy and uses it to generate hydrogen from seawater more cheaply and efficiently than current materials.

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions

Orlando, FL | Posted on October 4th, 2017

The breakthrough could someday lead to a new source of the clean-burning fuel, ease demand for fossil fuels and boost the economy of Florida, where sunshine and seawater are abundant.

Yang, an assistant professor with joint appointments in the University of Central Florida's NanoScience Technology Center and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been working on solar hydrogen splitting for nearly 10 years.

It's done using a photocatalyst - a material that spurs a chemical reaction using energy from light. When he began his research, Yang focused on using solar energy to extract hydrogen from purified water. It's a much more difficulty task with seawater; the photocatalysts needed aren't durable enough to handle its biomass and corrosive salt.

As reported in the journal Energy & Environmental Science, Yang and his research team have developed a new catalyst that's able to not only harvest a much broader spectrum of light than other materials, but also stand up to the harsh conditions found in seawater.

"We've opened a new window to splitting real water, not just purified water in a lab," Yang said. "This really works well in seawater."

Yang developed a method of fabricating a photocatalyst composed of a hybrid material. Tiny nanocavities were chemically etched onto the surface of an ultrathin film of titanium dioxide, the most common photocatalyst. Those nanocavity indentations were coated with nanoflakes of molybdenum disulfide, a two-dimensional material with the thickness of a single atom.

Typical catalysts are able to convert only a limited bandwidth of light to energy. With its new material, Yang's team is able to significantly boost the bandwidth of light that can be harvested. By controlling the density of sulfur vacancy within the nanoflakes, they can produce energy from ultraviolet-visible to near-infrared light wavelengths, making it at least twice as efficient as current photocatalysts.

"We can absorb much more solar energy from the light than the conventional material," Yang said. "Eventually, if it is commercialized, it would be good for Florida's economy. We have a lot of seawater around Florida and a lot of really good sunshine."

In many situations, producing a chemical fuel from solar energy is a better solution than producing electricity from solar panels, he said. That electricity must be used or stored in batteries, which degrade, while hydrogen gas is easily stored and transported.

Fabricating the catalyst is relatively easy and inexpensive. Yang's team is continuing its research by focusing on the best way to scale up the fabrication, and further improve its performance so it's possible to split hydrogen from wastewater.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mark Schlueb

407-823-0221

Copyright © University of Central Florida

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

RELATED JOURNAL ARTICLE:

Related News Press

News and information

Controlling chemical catalysts with sculpted light January 15th, 2021

Conductive nature in crystal structures revealed at magnification of 10 million times: University of Minnesota study opens up possibilities for new transparent materials that conduct electricity January 15th, 2021

Quantum computers to study the functioning of the molecules of life: A team of theoretical physicists from the University of Trento has shown that it is possible to use quantum computers to simulate processes of great biological importance, such as changes in the shape of protein January 15th, 2021

Keeping the costs of superconducting magnets down using ultrasound: Scientists show ultrasonication is a cost-effective approach to enhance the properties of magnesium diboride superconductors January 15th, 2021

Possible Futures

Scientists' discovery is paving the way for novel ultrafast quantum computers January 15th, 2021

Physicists propose a new theory to explain one dimensional quantum liquids formation January 15th, 2021

Controlling chemical catalysts with sculpted light January 15th, 2021

Conductive nature in crystal structures revealed at magnification of 10 million times: University of Minnesota study opens up possibilities for new transparent materials that conduct electricity January 15th, 2021

Discoveries

Physicists propose a new theory to explain one dimensional quantum liquids formation January 15th, 2021

Conductive nature in crystal structures revealed at magnification of 10 million times: University of Minnesota study opens up possibilities for new transparent materials that conduct electricity January 15th, 2021

Quantum computers to study the functioning of the molecules of life: A team of theoretical physicists from the University of Trento has shown that it is possible to use quantum computers to simulate processes of great biological importance, such as changes in the shape of protein January 15th, 2021

Keeping the costs of superconducting magnets down using ultrasound: Scientists show ultrasonication is a cost-effective approach to enhance the properties of magnesium diboride superconductors January 15th, 2021

Announcements

Controlling chemical catalysts with sculpted light January 15th, 2021

Conductive nature in crystal structures revealed at magnification of 10 million times: University of Minnesota study opens up possibilities for new transparent materials that conduct electricity January 15th, 2021

Quantum computers to study the functioning of the molecules of life: A team of theoretical physicists from the University of Trento has shown that it is possible to use quantum computers to simulate processes of great biological importance, such as changes in the shape of protein January 15th, 2021

Keeping the costs of superconducting magnets down using ultrasound: Scientists show ultrasonication is a cost-effective approach to enhance the properties of magnesium diboride superconductors January 15th, 2021

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers/Posters

Controlling chemical catalysts with sculpted light January 15th, 2021

Conductive nature in crystal structures revealed at magnification of 10 million times: University of Minnesota study opens up possibilities for new transparent materials that conduct electricity January 15th, 2021

Quantum computers to study the functioning of the molecules of life: A team of theoretical physicists from the University of Trento has shown that it is possible to use quantum computers to simulate processes of great biological importance, such as changes in the shape of protein January 15th, 2021

Keeping the costs of superconducting magnets down using ultrasound: Scientists show ultrasonication is a cost-effective approach to enhance the properties of magnesium diboride superconductors January 15th, 2021

Energy

USTC develops ultrahigh-performance plasmonic metal-oxide materials January 11th, 2021

Controlling the nanoscale structure of membranes is key for clean water, researchers find January 1st, 2021

Bionic idea boosts lithium-ion extraction January 1st, 2021

Record-setting thermoelectric figure of merit achieved for metal oxides December 29th, 2020

Solar/Photovoltaic

USTC develops ultrahigh-performance plasmonic metal-oxide materials January 11th, 2021

Engineers find antioxidants improve nanoscale visualization of polymers January 8th, 2021

Nanomaterials researchers in Finland, the United States and China have created a color atlas for 466 unique varieties of single-walled carbon nanotubes. December 14th, 2020

Chemists get peek at novel fluorescence: Rice University scientists discover delayed phenomenon in carbon nanotubes December 3rd, 2020

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




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project