Hydrogen fuel appears to be one of the most promising alternatives to fossil fuels, as it does not generate any emissions. A team of scientists has developed a new method that could offer the ability to produce hydrogen fuel at low costs and without the need to spend a significant amount of energy on the process.
Some ingredients and conditions are needed for the processes. The source of light should be a mercury-xenon lamp. Water, methanol, and a specific blend of iron oxide, which is classified as α-FeOOH, are used to create a solution that could produce up to 25 times more hydrogen in comparison to conventional methods.
A major roadblock for the production of hydrogen fuel is represented by the need to strip hydrogen atoms from other molecules and maintaining their stability without the risk of explosive results. The trait of increased flammability is one of the prime reasons that has contributed to a low adoption rate among manufacturers and car users.
The method to boost hydrogen fuel production
The use of iron oxide as a catalyst for the reaction is quite impressive, mainly since most of the iron oxides cannot produce hydrogen. To fulfill their objective, the team tracked down a method that allowed them to activate the α-FeOOH and observed that oxygen is an essential factor in the equation.
Researchers were also puzzled by the important role played by oxygen since, in previous research, it was mentioned that oxygen tends to suppress hydrogen production. Besides being more affordable to produce, α-FeOOH is more stable as the lab experiments remain active for approximately 400 hours.
Since the new source of hydrogen is represented by organic waste, the new method could be employed to produce a large amount of hydrogen fuel in the future. Regardless of how it is used, hydrogen fuel generates only water as a byproduct, which is excellent for the environment.
David Blair was a reporter for Henri Le Chat Noir, before becoming the lead editor. David has over 20 bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to science, games and technology. David studied at Birmingham University.