Green Energy: Replacing Fossil Fuels with Hydrogen Fuel

Scientists found a way to cut down the use of fossil fuels and replace it with hydrogen fuel. They claim that a nanomaterial which they have recently developed can release hydrogen from seawater. This process is much more cheaply and more efficient than other methods. Hence, this may be a new way of accessing a sustainable source of energy.

This form of energy does not only facilitates the environment, reducing the production of greenhouse gases and climate change effects, but it is also cheaper than using fossil fuels. Therefore, now that scientists found a way to generate hydrogen from water, it will more efficient and less costly to utilize energy. By reducing our reliance on fossil fuels will help us diminish its effect on global warming. Therefore, we will reduce human-made activities that influence dangerous climate change effects.

The team of scientists from the University of Central Florida indicates that the revolutionary extraction method is appropriate for their home state since it has several sources of water and sunny weather. To develop the process of releasing hydrogen from water, they will also need the use of sunshine. Yang Yang, who is the senior researcher for this project, claims that the team is glad that they have found new ways to use splitting real water.

Scientists discovered an environmentally friendly source of energy

Yang Yang has been working for the development of this sort of technology for more than ten years, and the specialists are thrilled to see that their process also functions outside the lab. They have been testing it in the lab, using purified water first. Now, that they have the proof that it works perfectly with seawater too, they will do their best to continue the study and analyze the effects.

In this way, they will be able to support and influence big industries to give up on using fossil fuels and use this new technology instead. They will not only contribute to a greener environment, using green energy, but they will also diminish pollution. We all know that air pollution is responsible for several respiratory diseases, affecting numerous people around the world. By diminishing air pollution, we have a greater chance to use environmentally friendly alternatives to benefit the environment.

Scientists explain that if one were to put a hydrogen fuel cell in a car, the only waste product obtained after using that source of energy would be water. Then, they can recycle it and turn it back into oxygen and hydrogen. Therefore, this could be a never-ending source of energy, a clean, sustainable and environmentally friendly way to generate power.

The blue ocean and a clear sky

Hydrogen fuel will replace fossil fuel to protect the environment and diminish pollution.

However, the main issue here is to produce hydrogen in a cost-effective way which does not waste a lot more energy and emits more carbon than it saves. This is currently a massive challenge for several teams of scientists around the world. It is extraordinary that they found out how to obtain a new source of energy. But the hardest part is to obtain that energy through clean and cost-effective ways.

Hydrogen fuel is soon to replace fossil fuel, scientists say

Hence, they came up with an idea. They can use hydrogen from seawater. However, the production of this process consumes a lot of electricity. The process is very tricky due to the salt and the overall qualities of the water in the oceans. When developing this study, Yang, together with his team engineered a new nanomaterial capable of acting as a photocatalyst. In this way, it spurs the chemical reaction which appears when sunlight hits the sea surface and produces hydrogen gas from water.

The most significant thing about the nanomaterial is that it captures a larger spectrum of light compared to other materials. Therefore, it will use more of the solar energy to obtain hydrogen. Furthermore, this material is also designed to face harsh seawater conditions. This hybrid material relies on titanium oxide. This is the most common photocatalyst. However, the nanomaterial also features microscopic nanocavities coated with molybdenum disulfide.

Hence, this extraordinary formula forms the material which facilitates the hydrogen release from seawater in an efficient way. Scientists argue that this magic formula is twice as effective as nowadays photocatalysts. However, they still have a lot to work on this new technology which will soon need to be commercialized and scaled up if it will give us the future hydrogen-powered energy. However, even if there is still quite a way to go, scientists indicate that the results they obtained are promising.

The revolutionary nanomaterial will change everything

If they use sunlight instead of using electricity from solar panels, it means that they will not need batteries to store electricity. Nevertheless, it is easier to store and transport hydrogen gas instead. Yang argues that much more solar energy can be absorbed directly from the sunlight compared with the conventional material. Furthermore, researchers also believe that if this nanomaterial reaches to be commercialized, then it will be very helpful, increasing Florida’s economy.

The innovative hybrid nanomaterial is able to harness solar energy, using it to produce hydrogen from seawater. The cheap and efficient alternative will be even more useful than current materials. The photocatalyst triggers a chemical reaction when in contact with solar energy. Yang together with his colleagues created a way to fabricate that photocatalyst made up of a hybrid material.

Therefore, very small nanocavities were etched through a chemical process onto the thin film of titanium dioxide. Scientists explain that the small nanocavity indentations were coated with nanoflakes of molybdenum disulfide. This is a two-dimensional material which has the thickness of an atom. Researchers explain that typical catalysts can convert only a limited amount of light into energy.

Now, this new material helps researchers enrich the bandwidth of light which can be harvested. The material can generate energy from near-infrared light to ultraviolet-visible light wavelengths by controlling the density of sulfur vacancy in the nanoflakes.

Summing up

The new material can help harvest a new form of energy in areas that have plenty of seawater and sunny weather. Hopefully, hydrogen fuel will soon replace fossil fuel, and the air will become cleaner. This is another step towards saving our planet by recycling and diminishing pollution.

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William E. Eubanks
 

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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