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Nanowires used to produce hydrogen fuel using sunlight

Dutch researchers have now found a way to produce hydrogen fuel through clean resources. This research helps us take another step closer to a reality where we could easily use hydrogen fuel that is eco-friendly at every step, and not just when it’s in your car or motorbike.

The researchers have built a solar cell that uses a grid of gallium phosphide nanowires to produce hydrogen gas from water. So far, this approach has been able to produce a useful yield of 2.9 per cent in the lab test. Though that might not sound like much, but if you compare that to the previous methods, it is about 10 times better and more effective. Plus, it is much less toxic compared to previous methods.

It is obvious that they will be refining the technology to the point where it becomes practical and has a possibility of being commercialised. That means they will have to increase the yield and its effectiveness. For instance, just hooking up silicon cells to a battery nets a 15 per cent yield. So the hydrogen cells will have to reach at least a 15 per cent yield or more than that to be practical.