New Catalytic Materials to Produce High Purity Hydrogen

Nearly 90% source of the hydrogen sources are from petroleum feedstock, making it expensive.

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Hydrogen-based energy is created using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. It is seen as a viable source for a green and sustainable future. But nearly 90% of hydrogen sources are from petroleum feedstock, making it expensive.

In a new study organised by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Jodhpur, researchers have developed a series of catalysts capable of efficiently producing hydrogen under ambient conditions. The end application of this research lies in the industries, automobile, and energy sectors, says the statement issued by IIT Jodhpur.

The developed catalysts are lanthanides-based perovskite nanocomposite materials for artificial photosynthesis. In the patented method, the researchers have used natural sunlight to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen, using a recyclable catalyst based on low-cost, simple transition metal.

The research team screened over 100 catalyst combinations to develop five sets of catalysts that gave high hydrogen production under sunlight. The catalysts work for wastewater, saline water and brackish water. They are recyclable and can be used multiple times. Lanthanide-based catalytic systems gave the best results and were effective in continuous pure hydrogen production for 7.5 hours.

Indigenous sustainable catalyst for large scale green hydrogen production is benchmark innovation for next generation happiness”, said Dr Rakesh K. Sharma, Principal Investigator and Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry, IIT Jodhpur.

The process is simple, works on a broad spectrum of sunlight, and requires no energy source to produce hydrogen. Low cost and high purity could be an essential step towards using hydrogen as a fuel directly in vehicles avoiding fossil fuels and reducing pollution.

This novel research is jointly funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and IIT Jodhpur. Further, the researchers aim to develop a prototype followed by a scale-up for large-scale hydrogen production for end-user applications.

Apart from Dr Rakesh K. Sharma, the research team involves a bunch of PhD and post-doctoral fellows, including Dr Kiran Shejale, Dr DevikaLaishram, Mr Bhagirath Saini and Dr Krishnapriya. (India Science Wire)