New method extracts hydrogen from seawater using only sunlight

A new nanomaterial developed by researchers from the University of Central Florida in the United States can extract hydrogen from seawater much more cheaply than existing methods, paving the way for harnessing the potential of this most abundant of renewable energy resources. Hydrogen is one of the most sustainable ways of generating power, with water — which can be turned back into hydrogen and oxygen — the only waste product from its use. Finding a way of producing hydrogen from water cheaply and efficiently could significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. The new nanomaterial is based on titanium dioxide and acts as a photocatalyst, speeding up the chemical reaction that occurs when light hits water and produces hydrogen gas. By capturing a broader spectrum of light than other materials, it can use more of the sun's energy, and by using sunlight directly rather than electricity from solar panels, means there is no need to store electricity in batteries. To find out more check out MoS2/TiO2 Heterostructures as Nonmetal Plasmonic Photocatalysts for Highly Efficient Hydrogen Evolution.