Japanese Researchers Develop Hydrogen-producing Photocatalyst

Silicon photocatalyst can produce hydrogen 30 times more efficiently than current technology.

Published: 08-Feb-2002

KIZUCHO, Kyoto (JP) 2002-01-29 [SolarAccess.com] A Japanese research institution says it has developed a silicon photocatalyst that can produce hydrogen 30 times more efficiently than current technology.

The Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth in Kyoto Prefecture says the photocatalyst turns water into hydrogen and oxygen when exposed to light. It could develop the use of clean burning hydrogen fuels in vehicles and aircraft.

Traditionally, photocatalysts have come in the form of powdered titanium oxide and powdered iron oxide. However, the rate of transformation from light energy into hydrogen is normally 0.1 percent and the hydrogen produced by the powdered oxides may still contain impurities.

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