Solar paint offers endless energy from water vapour—14 June 2017

ARC-funded researchers based at RMIT University have developed a solar paint that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen—the cleanest source of energy.

The paint contains a newly developed compound 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 new material, synthetic molybdenum-sulphide, also acts as a semi-conductor and catalyses the splitting of water atoms 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, ” said RMIT lead researcher, Dr Torben Daeneke.

His colleague, Distinguished Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, said hydrogen was the cleanest source of energy and could be used in fuel cells as well as conventional combustion engines as an alternative to fossil fuels.

The research, which was partly funded through a 2014 ARC Discovery Project awarded to Distinguished Professor Kalantar-zadeh, has been published in ACS Nano, a journal of the American Chemical Society.  

 

Media issued by RMIT.

Image: A new solar paint has been developed that can absorb water vapour and split it to generate hydrogen fuel.
Image courtesy: pexels.com.

Original Published Date: 
Wednesday, June 14, 2017