18 Mar
Scientists Discover Method for Making Affordable Hydrogen Gas Scientists Discover Method for Making Affordable Hydrogen Gas

Scientists Discover Method for Making Affordable Hydrogen Gas

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The discovery could provide an eco-friendly method for supplying residential customers with affordable electricity.

Bioscience engineers from KU Leuven recently came up with a solar panel they placed on a lawn in front of the Center for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis. While the device appeared to be a typical solar panel, it also was attached to a flask of water that indicated when hydrogen bubbles were escaping. It only took a couple of seconds for the first bubbles to show up on the surface.

The panel wound up using moisture in the atmosphere to create hydrogen gas. Following 10 years of development, the panel was capable of making 250 liters every day. 20 such panels could produce enough electricity to provide heat for a whole family for the length of one winter.

The value of using hydrogen gas to provide energy is that it can be converted into both heat and electricity. It also produces no toxic substances or greenhouse gases, so long as clean energy is used as part of the process. As a result, the new hydrogen gas solar panel contraption turns natural elements -- water vapor and sunlight -- into sustainable energy.

In a press release, Professor Johan Martens said, “It’s a unique combination of physics and chemistry. In the beginning, the efficiency was only 0.1 per cent, and barely any hydrogen molecules were formed. Today, you see them rising to the surface in bubbles. So that’s ten years of work – always making improvements, detecting problems. That’s how you get results.”

Another research team member noted that 40 such solar panels could produce enough energy for a user to drive an electric car for an entire year.

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Read 41108 times Last modified on Friday, 08 March 2019 06:13
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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