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Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor

Compound catalyses splitting of water molecules

Date:
June 14, 2017
Source:
RMIT University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a compound that draws moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen can be captured as a clean fuel source.
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Researchers have developed a solar paint that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen -- the cleanest source of energy.

The paint contains a newly developed compound that acts like silica gel, which is used in sachets to absorb moisture and keep food, medicines and electronics fresh and dry.

But unlike silica gel, the new material, synthetic molybdenum-sulphide, also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the splitting of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.

Lead researcher Dr Torben Daeneke, from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, said: "We found that mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air.

"Titanium oxide is the white pigment that is already commonly used in wall paint, meaning that the simple addition of the new material can convert a brick wall into energy harvesting and fuel production real estate.

"Our new development has a big range of advantages," he said. "There's no need for clean or filtered water to feed the system. Any place that has water vapour in the air, even remote areas far from water, can produce fuel."

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/Ci6LKz0ajfI

His colleague, Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, said hydrogen was the cleanest source of energy and could be used in fuel cells as well as conventional combustion engines as an alternative to fossil fuels.

"This system can also be used in very dry but hot climates near oceans. The sea water is evaporated by the hot sunlight and the vapour can then be absorbed to produce fuel.

"This is an extraordinary concept -- making fuel from the sun and water vapour in the air."


Story Source:

Materials provided by RMIT University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Torben Daeneke, Nripen Dahr, Paul Atkin, Rhiannon M. Clark, Christopher J. Harrison, Robert Brkljača, Naresh Pillai, Bao Yue Zhang, Ali Zavabeti, Samuel J. Ippolito, Kyle J. Berean, Jian Zhen Ou, Michael S. Strano, Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh. Surface Water Dependent Properties of Sulfur-Rich Molybdenum Sulfides: Electrolyteless Gas Phase Water Splitting. ACS Nano, 2017; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b01632

Cite This Page:

RMIT University. "Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 June 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170614091833.htm>.
RMIT University. (2017, June 14). Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2024 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170614091833.htm
RMIT University. "Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapor." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170614091833.htm (accessed July 21, 2024).

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