Not Precious Pure Water, Researchers split Seawater for hydrogen

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Splitting water to obtain oxygen and hydrogen serves to use hydrogen as an alternative fuel. The process, however, requires purified water which is a precious resource and the method costly as well.

In a new development, seawater – Earth’s most abundant source used to split into hydrogen and oxygen. A team of researchers at Stanford University used electrodes, solar power, and saltwater from San Francisco Bay to split water. This, in turn, generates hydrogen for use as an alternative fuel.

To power cities and cars, the amount of hydrogen required is huge. For such needs, using purified water to split water to obtain hydrogen is not viable. And currently there isn’t enough water to serve the current needs of the state, said one of the researcher of the finding.

Hydrogen viable Alternate Fuel to prevent further Climate Change Issues

Meanwhile, hydrogen serves to be a viable alternative fuel as it doesn’t leave carbon dioxide. This is because burning hydrogen only leaves water. Hence, it helps to prevent further climate change problems.

In the first phase, researchers have showed proof-of-concept of the finding with a demo. However, going forward, it is on manufacturers how they scale up and use the finding on a large scale.

Being an old science concept, electrolysis involves using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. On the apparatus part, a power source connected to two electrodes submerged in water. On passing electricity, the negative end called cathode releases hydrogen gas bubbles, while oxygen released at the positive end.

Using seawater as the medium, on the downside, negatively charged chloride in seawater can corrode the anode of the apparatus. This can limit the system’s lifespan.

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