Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have developed a novel photoreactor module that enables the production of hydrogen on roof surfaces. The backgrounds.
The energy transition poses major challenges. On the one hand, more space is needed for wind turbines and solar parks, on the other hand, there is a lack of ideas for making the switch as quickly as possible. A new concept from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) could now bring momentum to things.
Because a new type of photoreactor module should be able to be mounted on almost any roof and generate hydrogen there. Although the modules are not entirely new, the price has so far been too high for effective use. However, that could now change.
Artificial photosynthesis produces hydrogen on roof surfaces
The system consists of two parts: a photocatalyst for the actual chemical reaction and a photoreactor, which serves as a container for the photocatalyst and the starting materials for the reaction. The photoreactor then adds water, for example, to the catalyst.
This uses a photocatalytically active material to carry out chemical processes. It therefore obtains the energy required for the processes from the sun. In a chemical photosynthesis, the water splits and oxygen and hydrogen are produced for further use.
Different modules are conceivable for different areas of application
In addition to the production of hydrogen, the production of other fuels or drinking water is also possible. Due to the new structure and aluminum coating, the system is relatively efficient in everyday use. At the same time, the price is comparatively affordable due to mass production.
A photoreactor module is said to cost 22 US dollars per square meter (about 20.20 euros). In the next phase, the researchers want to focus on the further development of a catalyst for the production of hydrogen. Other modules for other types of fuel could then follow.