A device has been developed in the United States that can automatically produce hydrogen. US scientists 'advertise' the invention as a 'source of eternal energy'. Scientists were inspired by the functioning of a leaf, which thanks to the Sun converts carbon dioxide into oxygen.
A group of scientists from Rice University in Texas, has developed a prototype of the "artificial leaf" that connects the catalyser electrode and the perovskite’s solar cells to generate electricity. In the catalyst, into which the current flows, water splits into hydrogen and oxygen. The inventors point out that the efficiency of converting solar energy into hydrogen in thanks to the given solution gains an impressive result of 6.7%.
The innovation of this type of catalyser is the integration of the perovskite layer with the electrode into one module. Thanks to this the catalyser will be able to produce hydrogen without any additional costs. The device works by inserting the module into the water within sunlight reach. According to the researchers, such a fuel generator with a simple structure is self-sufficient and easy to use in mass production.
As one of the researchers explained, they were able to replace expensive perovskite cells components. For example, platinum has been changed to coal, which minimizes the costs of implementing a given technology for commercial production. However, the main component of the "artificial leaf" is not pervoskite, but the polymer that protects it. This material keeps the device active under water.
The presented solution gives a chance to find a way to use hydrogen as a fuel in maritime transport to reduce its negative impact on the environment as ships consume a large amount of heavy diesel and are responsible for high emissions of “greenhouse” gases.