There is good news coming from Australia: A group of researchers from the University of Adelaide announced that they have been able to extract clean hydrogen directly from seawater, without the need for any pretreatment or filtration.
With the increasing demand for this chemical element, which is the most abundant of all, in order to use it as an environmentally friendly fuel, it cannot be denied that the importance of this discovery is immeasurable.
Hydrogen is a clean alternative to petroleum
All-electric vehicles are the most explored and search-intensive option for a clean and efficient alternative to using fossil fuels.
There is no way, though, to ignore hydrogen-powered compounds, which are the result of the chemical transformation needed to move them—only clean, drinkable water.
This justifies the growing demand for this item, which tends to continue to increase over the years. Decisions such as the one recently taken by the European Union, which bans the sale of only vehicles with internal combustion engines from 2035 onwards, only reinforce this position.
The recent discovery may also make it possible to use hydrogen extracted from seawater as an energy source in some coastal areas.
According to the words of one of the leaders of the research team, Professor Xizang Qiao, it is now possible to split seawater into oxygen and hydrogen with very close to 100% efficiency, producing green hydrogen by electrolysis, using only a cheap catalyst and a commercial electrolyser.
Until then, seawater always needed to be purified before electrolysis could separate the oxygen from the hydrogen; Now, using cobalt oxide with chromium oxide on the surface to act as a catalyst, the performance of the procedure is similar to that obtained after purifying the brine.
Why use sea water?
There is no denying that sea water is more abundant on the planet than fresh water used for human consumption. This factor alone already has a huge impact on the decision. Moreover, the possibility of extracting hydrogen from the sea results in significant economic savings.
You University of Adelaide researchers You now intend to scale up this procedure, using a larger electrolyzer. The team hopes to eventually apply the knowledge gained on an industrial scale, so that it can be used in a practical way in our daily lives. Let’s hope they succeed.
Video – How to produce hydrogen from sea water
Suggestions for reading: Advantages and disadvantages of hydrogen
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