US researcher set conversion efficiency record

A research team led by Aditya Mohite, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Rice University in the US, has designed a device that can use sunlight to generate hydrogen, with a record efficiency of 20.8 percent, a press release said.

Hydrogen is being touted as the future of clean energy due to its high energy density that could be deployed even to fly large planes. However, the process of generating hydrogen is currently heavily dependent on fossil fuels. For hydrogen to herald a new future in clean energy, it needs to be produced sustainably and without carbon emissions.

Previous research has shown that energy from sunlight can be dispersed to split water molecules and release hydrogen that can be isolated and then used as fuel. Such devices are referred to as photoelectrochemical cells because they carry out multiple functions, such as absorption of light, converting it into electricity, and then using it to split the water molecule all in one device.


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