Hydrogen production using artificial photosynthesis with polymers
German scientists are working on a method of producing hydrogen from organic chemicals and light-activated compounds.
Hydrogen is considered one of the most promising alternative energy sources for the future. The energy-intensive and expensive production process of hydrogen, which is CO2-neutral, has been a major obstacle to its environmental friendliness. Scientists around the globe are increasingly researching alternative methods to produce hydrogen, such as from algae. (IO reported). Scientists at the Friedrich Schiller University in Germany, the Leibniz Institute for Photonic Technologies Leibniz IPHT and the University of Ulm were inspired by nature to develop a method of hydrogen production.
The team at the \”CataLight\”, a collaborative research center at the Universities of Jena, and Ulm, has combined organic dyes that emit gaseous hydrogen when exposed to light with catalyst molecules made of non-precious materials. In their study published in Chemistry – A European Journal, the researchers report that this substitute showed a remarkable effect in terms of its longevity and effects after being excited by visible light.
Photosynthesis as an inspiration
The light-collecting complexes and the reactive compounds in the thylakoid are permanently fixed in the chloroplasts. This type of arrangement was achieved by the researchers under Prof. Felix Schacher with polymers that interacted with both hydrophilic substances and hydrophobic substances. These so-called graft polymers, which are charged with a charge, are artificially produced.