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Turning water into fuel Return to case studies page

Materials node - Renewable energy
“Solar energy” means more than just electricity. It can be used to create fuel such as hydrogen that, unlike solar electricity, can be stored and used when the sun goes down. Hydrogen is an ideal, non-polluting and carbon neutral fuel.

Electromaterials can inherently store charge within their structure, and optimising the nanostructure of these electrodes and electrolytes for use in fuel cells can dramatically improve the performance of these devices.

Researchers at the Materials node of ANFF are developing electrode materials for water splitting. These electrodes are the most critical component of the fuel cell as they are responsible for splitting the H2O (water) such that the H2 (hydrogen) fuel can be captured. A focus of their research is to understand the key parameters, including nano-structure and composition, and identify the electromaterials that most efficiently split water.

Using ANFF facilities and expertise a number of materials are to be fabricated into electrodes with these key electromaterial properties. These will then be tested to identify the best water splitter, which will then be incorporated into the design of the new solar hydrogen fuel cell.

A key goal for the advancement of this technology is the demonstration of a manufacturable practical device.