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06/01/2011

Generating hydrogen from sunlight and ethanol

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    Why not use sunlight and ethanol to create hydrogen at ambient temperature and pressure? This could make production less expensive while delivering higher yields.
    The process will involve mixing a powdered form of a photocatalyst and ethanol in a container and then agitating the substances while they are exposed to ultraviolet light. A semiconductor inside the container will generate electrons, which will be captured by gold nanoparticles in the catalyst and react with the alcohol molecules of the ethanol, producing hydrogen.
    It is believed that just under 20 lbs of catalyst can be used to produce enough hydrogen to power a fuel cell able to create 3kW of electricity, which is enough to power a typical home.
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