Researchers split natural seawater into oxygen and hydrogen with nearly 100 percent efficiency to produce green hydrogen by electrolysis, according to an international study.
Melbourne, February 3 Researchers have succeeded in splitting raw seawater to produce green hydrogen. Researchers split natural seawater into oxygen and hydrogen with nearly 100 percent efficiency to produce green hydrogen by electrolysis, according to an international study. The study claims that they used a cheap, non-precious catalyst in a commercial electrolyser.
A typical non-precious catalyst is cobalt oxide with chromium oxide on its surface. “We use seawater as a raw material without the need for any pre-treatment processes, such as desolation, purification or alkalinization by reverse osmosis,” said lead researcher Yao Zheng from the University of Adelaide in Australia. “The performance of a commercial electrolyzer with our catalysts running on seawater is almost comparable to platinum/iridium catalysts running on a highly purified deionized water feed source,” Zheng said.
The team published their research in the journal Nature Energy. “Current electrolyzers work with highly purified water as the electrolyte,” Zheng said. The growing demand for hydrogen to partially or fully replace power generated by fossil fuels will greatly exacerbate the depletion of increasingly limited freshwater resources.” Seawater is a quasi-renewable resource and is considered a natural “feedstock” of electrolytes. It is most practical for areas with long coastlines and abundant sunlight, according to the study. However, this is not practical for areas where seawater is scarce, according to the study.
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