IME develops new concept for fuel from water
An inexpensive method for generating clean fuel is the modern-day equivalent of the philosopher’s stone. One compelling idea is to use solar energy to split water into its constituent hydrogen and oxygen and then harvest the hydrogen for use as fuel. But splitting water efficiently turns out to be not so easy.
Now we understand what’s going on at the microscopic level.
So people can use these concepts —incorporation of a new element and new defects into the material — in other systems to try to improve their efficiency.
These are very general concepts that could also be applied to other materials.
Giulia Galli (MSD), Professor in Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago
Now two researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne’s Institute for Molecular Engineering (IME) and the University of Wisconsin have made an important contribution to the effort, improving the efficiency of the key processes and offering new conceptual tools that can be applied more broadly in the quest to split water with sunlight. Their results will appear in the TK-ISSUE of Nature Communication.