Our generation is seeing new and innovative ways of harvesting energy and many of those advances seem like as if they are straight out of a science fiction movie.
Researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have developed a paint which absorbs water vapor from its surroundings and splits the water molecule to produce hydrogen and energy.
The paint contains synthetic molybdenum-sulphide that acts like silica gel, which is used in sachets to absorb moisture and keep food, medicines and electronics fresh and dry. But unlike silica gel, the compound acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the splitting of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.
“We found that mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air. Our new development has a big range of advantages. There’s no need for clean or filtered water to feed the system. Any place that has water vapor in the air, even remote areas far from water, can produce fuel.”
The paint combines titanium oxide already used in many wall paints with synthetic molybdenum-sulfide. The material absorbs solar energy as well as moisture from the surrounding air.
The development of solar paint can lower down our consumption of fossil fuels and if used by everyone, the paint can have dramatic effects on climate change as more than 90% of hydrogen produced today comes directly from fossil fuels: a huge contributor to greenhouse gases.