Hunt for an alternative source of water is still on. A recent discovery is the use of water to help produce fuel. The use of solar fuels instead of coal, fossil fuels, oils, and others will help the globe meet the clean-energy goal at a rapid pace. In order to increase the target fuels such as hydrogen gas or liquid hydrocarbon production on a large scale, the process of splitting the water proves to be beneficial.
According to the researchers, the water cannot just be split using the sunlight. The water comprises of 2 hydrogen molecules and an oxygen atom. The hydrogen when split from the water can together form hydrogen gas or when combined with carbon dioxide can form hydrocarbon fuel. But the splitting of water requires a solar-powered catalyst. The cost-effective and efficient catalysts called photoanodes have been discovered by the researchers. There exist about 16 of them and recently a team of scientists John Gregoire from Caltech, Jeffrey Neaton, and Qimin Yan from Berkeley Lab has found out 12 more photoanodes. These photoanodes help split the water using the visible light which acts as a source of energy. In comparison to the previous studies or experiments, the team used computational methods to test the new photoanodes efficiency as well as properties and also compared them to the previously discovered materials for high-throughput results.
With the help of high-throughput experimentation, the scientists were able to use the elements such as vanadium, oxygen, and other periodic table elements to create highly potential photoanodes. Thus, the use of hydrogen present in the water to meet the demand and supply chain of the public is going to boon the renewable industry in a long run. Though the overuse of water has to be restrained, this idea does not seem to be a bad source of fuel in terms of controlling global greenhouse gas warming.