Researchers across the world have been trying to harness the power of hydrogen to release us from our dependence from fossil fuels — but extracting hydrogen from water is easier said than done.
What’s more difficult is storing hydrogen due to its extremely inflammable nature. However, now researchers at IIT Madras have developed a technology that extracts hydrogen from seawater.
What’s different with their approach is that hydrogen can be produced on-demand, without the need arising of actually storing it. The reason people prefer hydrogen and call it the fuel of the future because unlike gasoline or diesel, its combustion doesn’t release carbon dioxide.
According to Abdul Malek from the Department of Chemistry (in a conversation with PTI), “As the hydrogen can be produced at the point of use on-demand, safety issues associated with the storage and transportation of hydrogen is avoided. The solid starting materials can be transported from one place to another place very conveniently. This bypasses the transportation bottleneck associated with hydrogen sector,”
Malek further added, “Our current estimates indicate that the cost is likely comparable to the available prices — things could change with scale. However, the key selling point is enhanced safety, and elimination of point-of-use environmental pollution.”
Malek along with researcher Tiju Thomas, Associate professor at IIT Madras and his team is working on a way to create a hydrogen system that can be used in vehicles.