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Researchers from IIT-Madras have developed a cost-effective way to electrolyze seawater to generate hydrogen.
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The existing alkaline water electrolyser technology is energy-intensive, requires an expensive oxide- polymer separator, and uses fresh water for electrolysis.
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Changes incorporated by The Team
- Team has developed an electrolyser using alkaline seawater instead the of pure or freshwater.
- The researchers used carbon-based support material for the electrodes instead of metals, effectively eliminating the possibility of corrosion.
- Transition metal-based catalysts that can catalyse both oxygen and hydrogen evolution reactions.
- An economical cellulose-based separator that serves the purpose of allowing hydroxide ions to pass through but prevents oxygen and hydrogen from crossing-over.
- The researchers have optimized all parameters to enable the water electrolyzer to directly utilize the photovoltaic-derived voltage for splitting seawater and generating green hydrogen.
- Renewable and clean energy: By using solar energy as the power source, the process of producing hydrogen from seawater becomes renewable and environmentally friendly. Unlike traditional methods that rely on fossil fuels, this approach avoids carbon emissions and helps mitigate climate change.
- Abundant resource availability: Seawater is a virtually inexhaustible resource, making it an abundant and reliable source for hydrogen production. As approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans, the availability of seawater is practically limitless.
- Energy storage and grid balancing: Hydrogen produced from seawater using solar energy can serve as an efficient energy storage solution. Converting the excess solar energy into hydrogen and storing it for later use helps balance. The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources and supports a more stable and reliable grid.
- Versatile and clean fuel: Hydrogen serves as a versatile energy carrier that finds application in various sectors, including transportation, industry, and power generation.
- When used as a fuel, hydrogen produces only water vapor as a byproduct, making it a clean alternative to fossil fuels and reducing air pollution.
- Potential for decarbonization: The production of hydrogen from seawater using solar energy offers a pathway for decarbonizing sectors. That are difficult to electrify directly, such as heavy-duty transportation and industrial processes. By utilizing hydrogen as a clean energy source, it becomes possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a more sustainable energy future.
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The production of hydrogen from seawater using solar energy represents a significant step towards achieving a sustainable and clean energy future. This innovative approach offers several advantages, including renewable energy generation, abundant resource availability, energy storage capabilities, versatility as a fuel, and potential for decarbonization. By harnessing the power of solar energy to extract hydrogen from seawater. We can reduce carbon emissions, mitigate climate change, and foster a more resilient and environmentally friendly energy system. Continued research and development in this field hold great potential for transforming our energy landscape and addressing global energy and environmental challenges.
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