Belgian Scientists Invent Device That Gets Hydrogen From Polluted Air

A device that turns pollution into hydrogen gas 1 photo
Photo: UAntwerpen and KU Leuven
Pollution is a global problem, and obtaining energy has been linked to it for decades, without any apparent solution.
Scientists have struggled to devise solutions to the age-old problem of sourcing energy in the most efficient way possible, while also tackling the pollution that can comes from conventional power sources.

According to a recent announcement from Belgium, a team of researchers from the Universities of Antwerp and Leuven has presented a device that can obtain hydrogen from polluted air.

The small appliance, shown on that scale for proof of concept, needs to be exposed to light to be able to operate, and comes with the bonus of purifying the air while extracting hydrogen from it.

Each of the two “abilities” of the invention has the possibility of being a valuable characteristic, but blending them into a single unit should make this product special in the world.

The device does not have a name yet, but it can generate hydrogen gas, which can be used as fuel. Evidently, it will require specific treatment before being suitable for use in Fuel Cell Vehicles, which means that you cannot fit one of these to the roof of a car and hope to drive on as long as there’s sunlight outside and you are in a polluted area.

Do not imagine that there’s something wrong with the hydrogen it obtains from the air pollution broken down by the particular membranes of the thing, but Fuel Cell Vehicles need hydrogen at an appropriate pressure for optimal operation.

Moreover, these vehicles would also require obtaining a well-defined quantity that may not be accomplished by this unit while operating continuously during a drive. However, the existence of the device is more important than the fact that it may not be suitable to fit it on the roof of existing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles when it is ready for consumers.

Researchers have explained on the KU Leuven’s website that they are currently working on scaling up the technology and improving its response to sunlight.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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