Cost-effective production of hydrogen
Part of: GS-Prelims and Mains GS-III- Science & Tech
In News: A team of scientists have, for the first time, developed a large-scale reactor which produces a substantial amount of hydrogen using sustainable sources like sunlight and water, which is a cost-effective and sustainable process.
India has set a target of 450 GW of renewable energy by 2030. One of the most economical ways to achieve this is to produce hydrogen at a large scale through photocatalytic water splitting. It is the long-term persistent solution for the growing renewable energy needs and a low-cost economic process which will benefit society in the longer term.
The team has
- Developed a prototype reactor which operates under natural sunlight to produce hydrogen at a larger scale (around 6.1 L in 8 hours).
- Employed the low-cost organic semiconductor in carbon nitrides which can be prepared using cheaper precursors like urea and melamine at ease in a kilogram scale.
- When the sunlight falls on this semiconductor, electrons, and holes are generated. The electrons reduced the protons to produce hydrogen, and holes are consumed by some chemical agents called sacrificial agents. If the holes are not consumed, then they will recombine with the electrons.
Benefits: Hydrogen generated in this manner can be used in many forms like electricity generation through fuel cells in remote tribal areas, hydrogen stoves, and powering small gadgets, to mention a few. Eventually, they can power the transformers and e-vehicles, which are long-term research goals under progress.
News Source: PIB