THE EPFL scientists hope to be able to attain an efficiency of 10 percent in a few years, for less than $80 per square meter
The rust-based device is still relatively inefficient, but Sivula predicts it will eventually reach an efficiency of 16 percent, while remaining affordable
The small prototype device created by researchers at EPFL
An oxide-based semiconductor performs the oxygen evolution reaction, while a dye-sensitized cell liberates the all-important hydrogen
As scientists endeavor to increase the efficiency of solar panels, the challenge of storing the resultant energy cheaply and in an environmentally responsible way must also be met. To this end, researchers at Switzerland’s École polytechnique fédérale de Lausann (EPFL) have developed an inexpensive device that transforms light energy into hydrogen, for storage and later use. The new prototype makes use of sunlight, water, and metal oxides, including iron oxide – or rust.
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