One of the first stages of developing the new renewable energy source under an industrially relevant environment. Until now, no inexpensive molecular catalyst was known to evolve H2 efficiently in water and under aerobic conditions. However, such conditions are essential for use in developing green hydrogen as a future energy source under industrially relevant conditions.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have produced hydrogen, H2, a renewable energy source, from water using an inexpensive catalyst under industrially relevant conditions (using pH neutral water, surrounded by atmospheric oxygen, O2, and at room temperature).
Although H2 cannot be used as a ‘direct’ substitute for gasoline or ethanol, it can be used as a fuel in combination with fuel cells, which are already available in cars and buses. H2 is currently produced from fossil fuels and it produces the greenhouse gas CO2 as a by-product; it is therefore neither renewable nor clean. A green process such as sunlight-driven water splitting is therefore required to produce ‘green and sustainable H2’.