11 Mar '21
The Institute of Catalysis in Novosibirsk is working on new technology enabling sunlight-assisted hydrogen production. Hydrogen is considered one of the most promising and eco-friendly energy sources.
The photocatalyst the Siberian chemists are developing is a mixture of cadmium sulfide and manganese. This is the key trigger in the reaction, the team said. All the catalyst requires to start acting is sunlight. A series of chemical transformations then follows to produce hydrogen.
“Quantum efficiency (QE) is the most essential parameter in the process, showing a ratio between the number of light quanta absorbed and the number of hydrogen molecules generated instead. In our process, QE reaches 25-30%, a fairly high value,” said Dr. Ekaterina Kozlova of the Institute of Catalysis.
A parallel objective the researchers are pursuing in this project is looking for ways of converting carbon dioxide into valuable organic substances required in an array of chemical processes – an effort that in long-term prospects could help lower carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, thus contributing to the global fight against greenhouse gas emissions.