Making Hydrogen Abundant and Inexpensive

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

The quandary in producing and using hydrogen is that it’s the most common element in the universe and the oldest, having been formed within a micro-second of the Big Bang.  Despite that, it’s always associated with other materials, and to use pure hydrogen usually requires extracting from the material in which it’s found.  Water is the most common source for hydrogen, but as noted before, getting hydrogen out of water is harder than it looks. As shown in earlier blog, various techniques have been tried to make this extraction, some seemingly close to providing usable quantities at reasonable prices.  Dr. Daniel Nocera of MIT and later Harvard used a two-catalyst system to pull oxygen and hydrogen from water. State University …

Direct Conversion of Sunlight to Hydrogen – Cheaply

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We’ve witnessed several attempts to produce an “artificial leaf,” a device emulating the photosynthesis of plants, but providing hydrogen and oxygen that could power fuel cells in electric vehicles instead of plant sugars to make trees and flowers grow.  One of the biggest problems so far has been the rare and costly materials necessary to generate hydrogen. Ècole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne (EPFL) scientists have come up with a low-cost alternative, using abundant materials called perovskites and budget electrodes to produce hydrogen from water with a 12.3 percent conversion efficiency – a record for fairly common materials. Perovskites are a calcium titanium oxide mineral that come in a variety of colors and can be bog-common or extremely rare, approaching rare earth mineral …