New water splitting technique could produce hydrogen fuel

A technique using the power of sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen has been developed by researchers.

The development paves the way for the broad use of hydrogen as a clean, green fuel.

Researchers devised a solar-thermal system in which sunlight could be concentrated by a vast array of mirrors onto a single point atop a central tower up to several hundred feet tall. The tower would gather heat generated by the mirror system to roughly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,350 Celsius), then deliver it into a reactor containing chemical compounds known as metal oxide.

As a metal oxide compound heats up, it releases oxygen atoms, changing its material composition and causing the newly formed compound to seek out new oxygen atoms.

Despite the discovery, the commercialisation of such a solar-thermal reactor is likely years away.

Read more at University of Colorado Boulder