Researchers from Tel Aviv University succeeded in producing “green” hydrogen using green electricity-Hydrogen is produced without air pollution, with a high level of efficiency, using a biocatalyst. Hydrogen is an essential raw material for agriculture and industry, but 95% of the hydrogen produced in the world today is “black” or “gray” – produced from coal or natural gas and emits 9-12 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of hydrogen.
The new method was developed by doctoral student Itzhak Grinberg and Dr. Oren Ben-Zvi, under the guidance of Prof. Iftach Yacoby of the School of Plant Sciences and Food Security of the Faculty of Life Sciences and Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich of the School of Dental Medicine and the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Good research results are published in the journal Carbon Energyfocuses on advanced materials and technologies for clean energy and CO2 emission reduction.
“Hydrogen is very rare in the atmosphere,” explained Itzhak Grinberg, “although it is produced by the enzymes of microscopic organisms, which receive the energy for it from the processes of photosynthesis. The electrode provides energy instead of the sun . The result is an efficient process, without the need for extreme conditions, that can use electricity from renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines. However, the enzyme ‘runs’ from the electricity charge, is that it must be held in place by chemical treatment. We found a simple and efficient way to attach the enzyme to the electrode and use it.”
The researchers used a hydrogel (a water-based gel) to attach the enzyme to the electrode, and were able to produce green hydrogen using the biocatalyst, and with over 90% efficiency; that is, over 90% of the electrons introduced to the system are deposited in hydrogen without any secondary process.
Prof. Iftach Yacoby explains that, “The gel material itself is known, but our innovation is to use it to produce hydrogen. We soak the gel electrode, which contains an enzyme for producing hydrogen, called hydrogenase. The gel holds the enzyme for a long time, even under electric voltage, and makes it possible to produce hydrogen with great efficiency and in environmental conditions favorable to the enzyme—for example, in salt water , as opposed to electrolysis, which requires distilled water.”
Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich added, “Another advantage is that the gel assembles itself—you put the material in water, and it settles into nanometric fibers that form the gel. We showed that these fibers can also attachment of the enzyme to the electrode. We tested the gel with two other enzymes, in addition to hydrogenase, and found that it was able to attach different enzymes to the electrode.”
“Today, ‘green’ hydrogen is produced primarily by electrolysis, which requires precious and rare metals such as platinum along with water distillation, making green hydrogen up to 15 times more expensive than of polluting ‘gray'” said Dr. Orange. Ben-Zvi. “We hope that in the future, it will be possible to use our method commercially, to reduce costs, and make the transition to the use of green hydrogen in industry, agriculture, and as a clean source of energy.”
Itzhak Grinberg et al, Peptide self-assembly as a strategy for rapid immobilization of redox enzymes on carbon electrodes, Carbon Energy (2023). DOI: 10.1002/cey2.411
Provided by Tel-Aviv University
Citation: Researchers succeed in producing highly efficient, cheap ‘green’ hydrogen (2023, July 17) retrieved 17 July 2023 from https://techxplore.com/news/2023-07-succeed-highly-efficient -low-cost- green.html
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