New, efficient process for producing hydrogen fuel

A team of researchers has developed a more efficient and cost-effective way of generating hydrogen fuel, a renewable energy resource whose only by-product is water. Scientists from the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois working with colleagues from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology produced hydrogen from water using a combination of sunlight and photosensitive lipids. The US and Russian researchers inserted a photosensitive protein into nanodiscs made from cell membranes composed of lipid bilayers to mimic a natural cell membrane called bacteriorhodopsin; to generate photocatalysis they dissolved the nanodiscs into water mixed with titanium dioxide, adding platinum to increase the efficiency of the process. The researchers used green and white light, with white light producing 74 times more hydrogen, while hydrogen generation was maintained for two to three hours. To find out more check out Lipid nanodiscs harnessed to produce hydrogen fuel.