A group of researchers in Japan has safely obtained high-purity hydrogen from water in an unprecedentedly large-scale experiment by using a photocatalytic substance.
A photocatalyst causes and accelerates the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen by absorbing sunlight.
In contrast to fossil fuel, hydrogen does not emit carbon dioxide when being burned. The gas is considered a key to achieving a carbon-free world.
The group of researchers from the University of Tokyo, Shinshu University, and other institutes sought to extract hydrogen from water by operating outdoors a 100 square-meter array of solar panel reactors with a photocatalytic substance applied to them.
The group says it safely recovered more than 70 percent of the generated hydrogen at a purity of 94 percent.
According to the group, this is the first time that hydrogen has been collected from water in such a large-scale experiment using a panel array measuring 100 square meters.
The group says the next step in making the technology practical will be to develop a new substance capable of recovering hydrogen more efficiently.
Professor Domen Kazunari of the University of Tokyo says now that his group developed a system to safely extract hydrogen, the group wants to put the technology to practical use as soon as possible so that large amounts of the gas can be supplied at low prices.
Originally published by News