HyperSolar produces key component for low-cost renewable hydrogen

Renewable hydrogen company HyperSolar Inc has announced the development of a key component made of abundant material for low-cost renewable hydrogen production.
HyperSolar produces key component for low-cost renewable hydrogen

HyperSolar, Inc is the developer of what it describes as a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen using sunlight and any source of water. The company has now announced its successful development of a key component made of earth-abundant material which will reduce the overall cost of its renewable hydrogen producing technology process.

HyperSolar’s research team at the University of Iowa published their results in Advanced Science, a peer-reviewed scientific journal that details news and breakthroughs within scientific disciplines including healthcare, materials science, sustainability, nanotechnology, energy, and electronics. The published paper highlights the scientific team’s successful solar hydrogen production using an earth-abundant hydrogen-producing photoactive electrode, made primarily of tin and sulfur.

To advance development and deployment of solar hydrogen production units, inexpensive light absorber materials that can be manufactured in large scale using scalable processes, are needed. The published work, led by Professor Syed Mubeen, developed novel device design strategies to synthesise and stabilise SnS based semiconductors for hydrogen production. These solar hydrogen production units were fabricated using scalable solution-phase chemical synthesis methods and produced hydrogen in acidic media, with champion devices producing photocurrents with incident photon-to-current efficiency of 12.7 percent.

"This development, as reviewed by our peers within the scientific community, reinforces the importance of identifying innovative materials that are both cost effective and more efficient than traditionally used semiconductors" said Dr. Syed Mubeen, principal investigator of HyperSolar’s research team at the University of Iowa. "As we continue to drive down the cost of individual components within our completely renewable hydrogen generation process, the entire system becomes capable of producing cheaper hydrogen, and thus, more commercially viable."

Tim Young, CEO of HyperSolar, added that the developments use earth-abundant materials which will continue to drive down the cost of photoelectrodes for hydrogen production and that the company is now focused on identifying each component of the device it believes will benefit from innovation, thus further reducing cost and increasing efficiency of the technology as a whole. The hydrogen generator must become more economically viable to reach commercialisation and the company is confident of the ability of this technology to achieve a long-term impact,

While hydrogen continues to emerge as a solution for numerous technologies within a number of industries, the vast majority is produced via steam reformed natural gas which, while much cleaner than coal, is still a fossil fuel. The demand for hydrogen for fuel cell applications continues to rise, a trend that is expected to continue, as evidenced by recent announcements from automotive maker Toyota debuting new concepts, and General Motors and the U.S. Army collaborating on development of Army trucks.  Further, according to recent market research reports, the rising awareness about the benefits of fuel cells and depletion of fossil fuels is expected to surge the demand for fuel cells in the years to come, resulting in approximately 45 percent market growth by 2022.

HyperSolar is developing a breakthrough, low cost technology to make renewable hydrogen using sunlight and any source of water, including seawater and wastewater. Unlike hydrocarbon fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas, where carbon dioxide and other contaminants are released into the atmosphere when used, hydrogen fuel usage produces pure water as the only byproduct. By optimising the science of water electrolysis at the nano-level, the company's low cost nanoparticles mimic photosynthesis to efficiently use sunlight to separate hydrogen from water, thereby producing environmentally friendly renewable hydrogen. Using this low cost method to produce renewable hydrogen, the company is aiming to enable a world of distributed hydrogen production for renewable electricity and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.  

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