Friday, December 10, 2004

Nevermind Electricity, Give Me Hydrogen

Wired News has this facinating report on efforts to use solar cells to convert sunlight directly to hydrogen:
Hydrogen Solar of Guilford, England, and Altair Nanotechnologies are building a hydrogen-generation system that captures sunlight and uses the energy to break water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The company's current project is a fuel station in Las Vegas that will soon be dispensing hydrogen fuel.

Hydrogen Solar CEO David Auty said his company's Tandem Cell technology uses two solar cells that together capture sunlight from every part of the ultraviolet spectrum. The interaction of photons with a semiconductor material causes a photoelectrochemical reaction that excites electrons and causes water molecules to break up into hydrogen and oxygen, according to Auty.
The company expects to have its demostration project operational by 2005.

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