For safer fuel, IIT-Mandi uses sunlight to make hydrogen from water

Dipender Manta
Tribune News Service
Mandi, January 6

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi, have developed new materials that can use sunlight for the production of hydrogen from water.

The project has been taken up in collaboration with researchers from Yogi Vemana University, Andhra Pradesh.

Dr Venkata Krishnan, Associate Professor, School of Basic Sciences, IIT-Mandi, said: “With concerns of dwindling fossil fuel reserves and environmental issues associated with their use, there has been an impetus to develop alternative and safe fuels. Hydrogen gas with its high energy yield and eco-friendliness has been identified as a potential energy vector that can herald a new hydrogen-based economy.”

He said: “The catch with hydrogen economy is that the gas is now largely obtained from fossil fuels by petroleum and natural gas steam reforming processes, which does not help with the problem. We set out solving-finding alternatives to fossil fuels.” He said water, the simplest chemical compound known to man, was made of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom and was logically a good source of hydrogen. However, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen was energy intensive and not easy. “It has been known for decades that light can assist in the splitting of water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

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