Using a semiconductor as a photocatalyst for solar hydrogen production

Hydrogen has the potential to be an awesome way to store energy for use in a variety of devices, including cars. There is of course the issue of separating atomic hydrogen from the other elements that it is typically bound to. Martin Demuth and his colleagues at the Max Planck Institute in Germany have come up with a semi-conductor that can be used as a photocatalyst to crack water.

While other semiconductors have been tested, titanium disilicide has the ability to absorb light over more of the spectrum. This provides for greater efficiency in splitting the hydrogen. At the same time that the water molecules are split, the hydrogen and oxygen molecules are absorbed separately. The oxygen and hydrogen can be released by separate processes and captured individually. The researchers have now started a company in
Lörrach, Germany to develop and commercialize the techonology.

[Source: PhysOrg via EcoGeek]

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