Feeds

Nanotech aids green hydrogen production

British company splits water

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

A UK company has developed a nano-crystalline material that will dramatically improve the production of hydrogen by using solar energy to split water more efficiently into its elemental parts.

Hydrogen Solar says its efficiency rate is now at eight per cent - just two per cent shy of the 10 per cent benchmark accepted for commercial production. Company CEO Dr. David Auty says he expects to commercialise the technology within a year.

Speaking to The Register, Dr. Auty explained how the Tandem Cell technology works.

There are two photocatalytic cells arranged in series. The front cell is coated with a nano-crystaline film which absorbs high energy (ultraviolet and blue) light.

The lower energy light (green and red wavelengths) passes through the front cell and into the second. Here, the light excites the electrons in this cell's coating which sets up an electrical potential.

Now there is a potential difference between the two cells allowing current to flow. This electricity splits the water molecules in an electrolyte, producing hydrogen.

"The coatings we have put down have features on a scale of 30-50nm," he says. "But the films are between 1000nm and 3000nm thick, with lots of features throughout the thickness. The material is mesoporous, which means there is a huge surface area available for activation."

Dr. Auty explained that there the properties of the materials used change in subtle ways at the nano scale. "We think this may be helping us, too," he said.

Hydrogen Solar is discussing commercial projects with international companies is both car manufacturing and construction industries. ®

Related stories

Toshiba touts pump-free fuel cell for MP3 players
Sulphur fuels battery breakthrough
Shrunken rods make batteries better
Hitachi readies fuel cell for PDAs

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
Moment of truth for LOHAN's servos: Our US allies are poised for final test flight
Will Vulture 2 freeze at altitude? Edge Research Lab to find out
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.