An international team of researchers has successfully used seawater without any pre-treatment to create environmentally friendly green hydrogen.
The results of the research were published in the journal Nature Energy. The team developed a new system that can be used directly with seawater without adding alkali and pre-treatments.
The development is a step forward toward creating green hydrogen, with current systems using heavily deionized water.
The University of Adelaide’s Professor Shizhang Qiao and Associate Professor Yao Zheng from the School of Chemical Engineering led the research. According to Professor Qiao:
“We have split natural seawater into oxygen and hydrogen with nearly 100 percent efficiency, to produce green hydrogen by electrolysis, using a non-precious and cheap catalyst in a commercial electrolyzer.”
Elaborating further, Professor Yao Zheng added:
“We used seawater as a feedstock without the need for any pre-treatment processes like reverse osmosis desolation, purification, or alkalization. Current electrolyzers are operated with highly purified water electrolyte. Increased demand for hydrogen to partially or totally replace energy generated by fossil fuels will significantly increase scarcity of increasingly limited freshwater resources. It is always necessary to treat impure water to a level of water purity for conventional electrolysers including desalination and deionisation, which increases the operation and maintenance cost of the processes. Our work provides a solution to directly utilize seawater without pre-treatment systems and alkali addition, which shows similar performance as that of existing metal-based mature pure water electrolyzer.”
Check out the study here.