A new way to store energy from the sun in a solution for its final conversion to hydrogen

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A team of researchers from several German universities have developed new ways to store the energy captured from the sun for use in the conversion to hydrogen fuel.In their paper published in the journal Nature Chemistry, The group describes how they created molecules that could hold the energy captured from the sun. This molecule can later be used to produce hydrogen fuel.

As Solar cell technology Mature, scientists are busy trying to find a better way to store energy Manufactured for use when the sun is not shining. Most systems today use batteries, which most agree to be inefficient in the field.Other approaches require the direct use of energy from the sun to generate Hydrogen fuel However, doing so entails many expensive storage issues. In this new initiative, researchers have taken a new approach. Energy from the sun can be stored in molecules and released as needed to produce hydrogen fuel.

In the team’s work, the compound was created using a metal oxide bound to a double photosensitive molecule based on the rare metal ruthenium. The resulting molecule was then added to a solution containing sodium ascorbate. Under such settings, Solar cell Is not needed at all. Instead, light from the sun is directed at the solution, where energy is captured via electrons from the salt. The solution will then change from clear to deep blue. Tests have shown that the liquid can survive for up to 24 hours.

The next step in the process is to add acid (in this case sulfuric acid) to the solution. By doing so, the electrons combine as follows: Hydrogen ion It produces hydrogen gas in acid and can be used as a fuel source.

In particular, energy-retaining molecules deteriorate over time, but recyclability is an issue because they can be charged and discharged many times. Researchers also point out that ruthenium is very expensive. This means that you need to keep looking for suitable and cheap alternatives.They conclude by their suggestion jobs It suggests the potential to store energy in the solution as an on-demand hydrogen fuel source in real-world applications.

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For more information:
Sebastian Amthor et al, a photosensitizer that allows the separation of light-dark reactions for delayed on-demand solar hydrogen production-polyoxometallate diads, Nature Chemistry (2022). DOI: 10.1038 / s41557-021-00850-8

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A new way to store energy from the sun in a solution for its final conversion to hydrogen

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