Have you heard about Solar Energy actually generating usable fuel? The very thought seemed very ridiculous at the beginning, but not any more!!
A team of US & Swiss Researchers have came up with a next generation solar gadget which actually generates fuel by concentrating sun light. “How the heck was this possible?” I was stuck by the same question my friend.
The Gadget uses a Metal Oxide known as Ceria. Ceria has a natural property, it releases oxygen when it is heated but absorbs oxygen as it cools down.
Now if you added water to ceria as it gets cooled, it will simply remove the oxygen from the hydrogen, thereby providing you twice the amount of hydrogen than the amount of oxygen absorbed. Remember Water is called as H2O.
The Hydrogen thus generated can be easily used in Hydrogen Fuel Cells present in cars.
The device at its present stage has very low efficiency, harnessing only 0.7 to 0.8 percent of the incident sunlight. But Researchers conveyed that seeing the advent of solar optical technologies like concentrator fresnel lenses or parabolic reflectors will surely help improve the efficiency, an efficiency of 19 percent can be surely achieved.
Improved efficiency will surely help to make further modifications in the device which can be commercially viable. Reducing the cost to market acceptable prices will make this a must have. Just like the cell phones.
This device will not only provide independence to people from the strangles of Fossil Fuels but also contribute to making this a clean, green and a healthy environment for us and for the future generations to come.