In the 21st century, one of the most key challenges is transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Internationally, it has been agreed upon to limit the warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees. In order to attain this, it requires for the international community to reduce emissions drastically.
Earlier, while Germany stood as the pioneer for energy transition, the wide-ranging switch to renewable energy remains a thing of the future here. Meanwhile, in this scenario, hydrogen could play a significant role as a promising, potential source of climate-neutral energy.
Displays Use for Fuel Cells with Water as Waste Product
Application-wise, hydrogen is used in fuel cells. It provides energy for various applications, and only generates water as a waste product. Presently, hydrogen is primarily obtained from electrolysis of water. However, this process requires energy, which is mostly obtained from fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, for a climate-neutral hydrogen economy- it requires hydrogen production to be exclusively based on renewable energy. To attain this, researchers are trying to use sustainable source of energy, by means photosynthesis, for example. Ever since, mankind is obtaining energy from sunlight via photosynthesis, obtained either as fossil fuels or in the form of food. Nonetheless, for both forms, solar energy is stored as sugar in carbon compounds. And, if these compounds are exploited, CO2 is released.
In a study carried out at Kiel University, researchers investigated how this carbon cycle, and resulting emissions can be avoided. For this purpose, storing solar energy directly in the form of hydrogen is specifically promising. The process creates no CO2 and efficiency high due to direct conversion.
For the study par, the team of researchers investigated a specific cyanobacterium via photosynthesis. The bacterium produces solar hydrogen for few minutes, which, subsequently is completely consumed by the cell.