New alloys use solar light to make hydrogen faster and cheaper without emissions

New alloys make hydrogen faster with solar light

According to reports recently organized by the American Physicist Organization Network, American scientists have developed a new type of gallium nitride-antimony alloy, which can more easily use sunlight to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen. This new method of hydrogen production by hydrolysis Not only is it cheap and does not emit carbon dioxide.

With the funding of the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists have used state-of-the-art theoretical calculations to prove that in GaN compounds, 2% of GaN is replaced by antimony (Sb), so the new alloy combined will have Suitable electrical characteristics. When it is immersed in water and exposed to sunlight, it passes through photoelectrochemical reactions, using solar energy to separate the chemical bonds between the hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms in the water molecules, and decomposes the water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Gallium nitride is a semiconductor that has been widely used to manufacture light emitting diodes since the 1990s. In recent years, it has also been increasingly used in microelectronic devices. This gallium nitride-bismuth alloy is the first material that is simple and easy to manufacture and can be hydrolyzed by photoelectrolysis to produce hydrogen. Moreover, in the photoelectrochemical reaction, this alloy is a catalyst, which means that it is not consumed, so it can be recycled and used. Scientists have already manufactured this alloy and are testing it for hydrogen production. effectiveness. According to Maddu McNenon of the University of Kentucky Computer Science Center who led the study, “In the past, scientists used electro-optical reactions to hydrolyze hydrogen to make use of complex materials. However, we decided to find another way to try and use easily-manufactured materials to accomplish this task. And hopefully fine-tuning the electronic arrangement within these materials to obtain satisfactory results."

When hydrogen is burned, it generates heat, and the by-products are water and no pollution. Therefore, hydrogen has always been regarded as a key element for human transition to clean energy. Hydrogen can be used to generate electricity in a fuel cell, and it can also be used in internal combustion engines to drive cars. In addition, hydrogen is also widely used in science and industry.

But to get pure hydrogen, scientists must use chemical compounds to make other hydrogen-containing compounds. Most of the hydrogen used today is produced from non-renewable energy sources such as coal and natural gas. Producing hydrogen from non-renewable fuels such as coal and natural gas produces large amounts of carbon dioxide, and the latest GaN-Sb alloys are expected to turn solar and water into economical and environmentally friendly sources of hydrogen. (Liu Xia)

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