Madrid, 27 years old (European press)
A team from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Design and Engineering, NUS, has discovered that light can trigger a new mechanism in a catalyst widely used in water electrolysis, in which water decomposes into hydrogen and oxygen. The result is a more energy efficient way to obtain hydrogen.
“We found that the redox center (redox reaction) of the electrocatalytic reaction switches between metal and oxygen, and is activated by light,” first author and associate professor Xue Jun Min said in a statement. This greatly improves the electrolysis efficiency of water. “.
The new discovery, published in Nature, could open up new and more efficient industrial methods for producing hydrogen and make this environmentally friendly fuel source available to more people and industries.
Under normal circumstances, Professor Xue and his team might not have been able to come up with such a groundbreaking discovery. But the occasional blackout of their lab’s ceiling lights nearly three years ago allowed them to notice something the global scientific community had yet to achieve.
When the researchers returned the next day, they found that the production of a nickel-oxyhydroxide-based substance in the water electrolysis experiment, which continued in the dark, had dropped dramatically.
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