A team of UK researchers, including experts from Cardiff University’s Cardiff Catalysis Institute, have shown that significant amounts of hydrogen can be unlocked from fescue grass with the help of sunlight and a cheap catalyst.
It is the first time that this method has been demonstrated and could potentially lead to a sustainable way of producing hydrogen, which has enormous potential in the renewable energy industry due to its high energy content and the fact that it does not release toxic or greenhouse gases when it is burnt.
Co-author of the study Professor Michael Bowker, from the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, said: “This really is a green source of energy.
“Hydrogen is seen as an important future energy carrier as the world moves from fossil fuels to renewable feedstocks, and our research has shown that even garden grass could be a good way of getting hold of it.”
The team, which also includes researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, have published their findings in the Royal Society journal Proceedings A.
Hydrogen is contained in enormous quantities all over the world in water, hydrocarbons and other organic matter.
Up until now, the challenge for researchers has been devising ways of unlocking hydrogen from these sources in a cheap, efficient and sustainable way.
A promising source of hydrogen is the organic compound cellulose, which is a key component of plants and the most abundant biopolymer on Earth.
In their study, the team investigated the possibility of converting cellulose into hydrogen using sunlight and a simple catalyst – a substance which speeds up a chemical reaction without getting used up.
This process is called photoreforming or photocatalysis and involves the sunlight activating the catalyst which then gets to work on converting cellulose and water into hydrogen.
The researchers studied the effectiveness of three metal-based catalysts – Palladium, Gold and Nickel.
Nickel was of particular interest to the researchers, from a practical point of view, as it is a much more earth-abundant metal than the precious metals, and is more economical.
In the first round of experiments, the researchers combined the three catalysts with cellulose in a round bottom flask and subjected the mixture to light from a desk lamp. At 30 minutes intervals the researchers collected gas samples from the mixture and analysed it to see how much hydrogen was being produced.
To test the practical applications of this reaction, the researchers repeated the experiment with fescue grass, which was obtained from a domestic garden.
Professor Michael Bowker continued: “Up until recently, the production of hydrogen from cellulose by means of photocatalysis has not been extensively studied.
“Our results show that significant amounts of hydrogen can be produced using this method with the help of a bit of sunlight and a cheap catalyst.
“Furthermore, we’ve demonstrated the effectiveness of the process using real grass taken from a garden. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that this kind of raw biomass has been used to produce hydrogen in this way. This is significant as it avoids the need to separate and purify cellulose from a sample, which can be both arduous and costly.”
Learn more: The ‘green’ grass of home
The Latest on: Hydrogen production
via Google News
The Latest on: Hydrogen production
- Gas-powered infrastructure achieves first fire at DOE carbon capture test siteon January 27, 2021 at 12:42 am
The National Carbon Capture Center has announced the “first fire” of its new natural gas infrastructure, paving the way for the first test runs of carbon capture technologies using actual natural ...
- Work starts on world’s first carbon capture storage planton January 26, 2021 at 9:07 pm
Northern Lights, a partnership between Equinor, Royal Dutch Shell, and Total, has begun building a storage plant underneath the North Sea for captured carbon emissions ...
- Elon Musk just bought $100 million in publicity for the carbon capture industryon January 26, 2021 at 1:03 am
Elon Musk fired up the climate community by offering a $100 million prize (about .05% of his estimated net worth) to any team that comes up with the best way to capture carbon. It’s a small but ...
- Nuclear and carbon capture may form bipartisan (re)starting point on climate changeon January 25, 2021 at 11:58 am
Democratic Senator Chris Coons of Delaware says it's a "false choice" that pursuing climate-change policy hurts the U.S. economy.
- Boosting the efficiency of carbon capture and conversion systemson January 25, 2021 at 11:49 am
Systems for capturing and converting carbon dioxide from power plant emissions could be important tools for curbing climate change, but most are relatively inefficient and expensive. Now, researchers ...
- Carbon Capture and Storage Market Worth $ 6.15 Billion, Globally, by 2027 at 7.88% CAGR: Verified Market Researchon January 25, 2021 at 7:14 am
Verified Market Research recently published a report, "Carbon Capture and Storage Market By Technology (Pre combustion capture, Post ...
- Shell Oil President on methane emissions, carbon captureon January 24, 2021 at 10:01 am
Gretchen Watkins, the president of oil and gas major Shell Oil has taken a tough stand on methane emissions. She joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the methane problem, the need for regulation and her ...
- $100 Million From Elon Musk Won’t Enable Carbon Captureon January 24, 2021 at 5:10 am
Elon Musk recently announced his intention to donate $100 million to the “best” carbon capture technology. The problems, however, holding carbon capture are economic, and a Silicon Valley mindset that ...
- Elon Musk to donate sliver of net worth for carbon captureon January 22, 2021 at 3:11 pm
Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” Musk tweeted. “Details next week.” Spokespeople for Musk did not immediately respond to requests for comment. It would be his ...
- Elon Musk is donating a $100 million prize for carbon capture technology — here's what that meanson January 22, 2021 at 8:06 am
Carbon capture, utilization and storage or sequestration is a process of removing carbon emissions to either store or reuse.
via Bing News