Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Solar Energy News  




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















SOLAR DAILY
Solar material for producing clean hydrogen fuel
by Staff Writers
Osaka, Japan (SPX) Jun 15, 2017


These are electron microscope images of visible-NIR light responsible photocatalyst composed with black phosphorous (BP), lanthanum titanate (LA2Ti2O7, LTO), and gold nanoparticles (Au). Credit Zhu M, Cai X, Fujitsuka M, Zhang J, Majima T, Angewandte Chemie: International Edition 56 (2017), doi: 10.1002/anie.201612315

Global climate change and the energy crisis mean that alternatives to fossil fuels are urgently needed. Among the cleanest low-carbon fuels is hydrogen, which can react with oxygen to release energy, emitting nothing more harmful than water (H2O) as the product. However, most hydrogen on earth is already locked into H2O (or other molecules), and cannot be used for power.

Hydrogen can be generated by splitting H2O, but this uses more energy than the produced hydrogen can give back. Water splitting is often driven by solar power, so-called "solar-to-hydrogen" conversion.

Materials like titanium oxide, known as semiconductors with the wide band-gap, are traditionally used to convert sunlight to chemical energy for the photocatalytic reaction. However, these materials are inefficient because only the ultraviolet (UV) part of light is absorbed - the rest spectrum of sunlight is wasted.

Now, a team in Osaka University has developed a material to harvest a broader spectrum of sunlight. The three-part composites of this material maximize both absorbing light and its efficiency for water splitting.

The core is a traditional semiconductor, lanthanum titanium oxide (LTO). The LTO surface is partly coated with tiny specks of gold, known as nanoparticles. Finally, the gold-covered LTO is mixed with ultrathin sheets of the element black phosphorus (BP), which acts as a light absorber.

"BP is a wonderful material for solar applications, because we can tune the frequency of light just by varying its thickness, from ultrathin to bulk," the team leader Tetsuro Majima says.

"This allows our new material to absorb visible and even near infrared light, which we could never achieve with LTO alone."

By absorbing this broad sweep of energy, BP is stimulated to release electrons, which are then conducted to the gold nanoparticles coating the LTO. Gold nanoparticles also absorb visible light, causing some of its own electrons to be jolted out.

The free electrons in both BP and gold nanoparticles are then transferred into the LTO semiconductor, where they act as an electric current for water splitting.

Hydrogen production using this material is enhanced not only by the broader spectrum of light absorption, but by the more efficient electron conduction, caused by the unique interface between two dimensional materials of BP and LTO. As a result, the material is 60 times more active than pure LTO.

"By efficiently harvesting solar energy to generate clean fuel, this material could help to clean up the environment," Majima says. "Moreover, we hope our study of the mechanism will spur new advances in photocatalyst technology."

Research paper

SOLAR DAILY
SCE and G Launches South Carolina's Largest Community Solar Program
Cayce SC (SPX) Jun 12, 2017
SCE and G have introduced South Carolina's largest community solar program (16 MWac), making solar generation available to electric customers who cannot, or do not wish to, install rooftop solar panels. Through the SCE and G Community Solar Program, residential customers and eligible nonresidential customers may now purchase or subscribe to solar panels at several solar facilities to be construc ... read more

Related Links
Osaka University
All About Solar Energy at SolarDaily.com

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

SOLAR DAILY
Turning car plastics into foams with coconut oil

Scientists use new technique to recycle plant material into stock chemicals

Splitting carbon dioxide using low-cost catalyst materials

Newly identified gene helps time spring flowering in vital grass crops

SOLAR DAILY
Apple wants to rock the market with HomePod, faces challenges

Autonomous machines edge towards greater independence

AI gets so-so grade in Chinese university entrance exam

AI 'good for the world'... says ultra-lifelike robot

SOLAR DAILY
It's a breeze: How to harness the power of the wind

ADB: Asia-Pacific growth tied to renewables

GE Energy Financial Services Surpasses $15 Billion in Renewable Energy Investments

U.S. states taking up wind energy mantle

SOLAR DAILY
Embattled Uber CEO Kalanick to take leave of absence

Mumbai's adored Padmini taxis near the end of the road

Uber loses key executive as inquiry report looms

Apple sees autonomous cars as 'core' technology

SOLAR DAILY
Batteries from scrap metal

Scientists propose new method to correct common power problem in microgrids

'Instantly rechargeable' battery could change the future of electric and hybrid automobiles

Scientists develop divide and conquer approach for more stable power generation

SOLAR DAILY
UNIST improves remote detection of hazardous radioactive substances

Japan court clears way for nuclear reactor restarts

AREVA-EWN consortium to dismantle the Reactor Pressure Vessel at Brunsbuttel

German court nukes tax on power firms

SOLAR DAILY
Divestment streak continues for British energy company Centrica

Low-carbon trajectory is the only option, European leaders say

New ultrathin material for splitting water could make hydrogen production cheaper

Keeping the hydrogen coming

SOLAR DAILY
Activists block logging in Poland's ancient forest

Decomposing leaves are surprising source of greenhouse gases

Forensic analysis of wood's chemical signatures could curb illegal logging

Canada provides Can$867 mn to beleaguered softwood sector




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement