Finally a method to produce hydrogen without water!

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Finally a method to produce hydrogen without water!

Due to climate change, the energetic transition has never been so urgent. In this energy revolution, hydrogen represents clean energy par excellence. Although it is the most abundant element in the universe, it is found mostly in water. However, according to climatologists, by 2025, two thirds of the world’s population will suffer from extreme water scarcity.

Conceptualizing environmental conservation with a plant growing inside an incandescent light bulb.

Aware of this phenomenon, an international team of researchers has developed a device that can help produce hydrogen in large quantity despite this coming water shortage. This machine will notably make it possible to produce hydrogen anywhere in the worldwithout necessarily going through a water source.

The technology that Australian, British and Chinese researchers have developed makes it possible to produce hydrogen pure at from the air. This technology also has potential for space missions.

Hydrogen, a very important source of green energy

With the increase constant world population and the pricing of natural resources, the world faces an unparalleled energy challenge. In this context, hydrogen has the advantage of producing water by electrolysis from green energies.

Diagram of the direct air electrolysis module and its cross section.

Hydrogen can also be used as intermittent energy storage means such as solar, wind or tidal power, which will be increasingly consumed in the years to come. This energy vector is therefore most promising in the new global economic policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A revolutionary hydrogen electrolyser

Currently, hydrogen production plants use water chlorinators. However, their deployment is geographically limited by the availability of fresh water. Hydrogen could then eventually become a rare commodity. This is where the experimental prototype electrolyser developed by Dr Gang Kevin Li and his team comes in, harvesting the humid air instead of liquid water.

A porous medium captures moisture from the air. The hydrogen is then captured using a hygroscopic electrolyte soaked in this porous medium. The researchers were able to demonstrate that the device can work effectively in a dry environment about 4% humidity. It thus offers the possibility of generate abundant hydrogen in arid and semi-arid areas.


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