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Solar panels to produce hydrogen - Companies

Solar panels to produce hydrogen – Companies

The tests having proved conclusive, two bioengineers from KU Leuven hope to see solar panels producing hydrogen rather than electricity by 2030.

Even in the desert, the air contains water vapour. Hence the idea of ​​asking the sun to provide the energy needed to split these water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Convinced of the soundness of their reasoning, Jan Rongé and Tom Bosserez have been striving since 2011 to develop solar panels capable of achieving such hydro…

Even in the desert, the air contains water vapour. Hence the idea of ​​asking the sun to provide the energy needed to split these water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Convinced of the validity of their reasoning, Jan Rongé and Tom Bosserez have been striving since 2011 to develop solar panels capable of carrying out such hydrolysis at a competitive price without resorting to expensive components, or even precious metals. Thus was born within the KU Leuven the Solhyd project with Professor Johan Martens as mentor. Even if they remain discreet about the materials and techniques used (patent applications are still in progress), they think they have succeeded and plan to launch into industrial production. The yields obtained are in fact of the order of 15%, which is significantly higher than the yield offered by conventional industrial processes. Carbon neutral, the technique is environmentally foolproof: the hydrogen produced can indeed be easily stored and transported and the oxygen released, released into nature without harming the latter. Used in a fuel cell to produce electricity, hydrogen only leaves pure water as a by-product! As for the potential market, it is all the more enormous since in many areas, such as long-distance transport, hydrogen far outweighs electricity. Today, the three friends believe the time has come to transform their project into a spin-off which will bear the name given to the project: Solhyd. In the meantime, a new prototype has been developed with the help of the Leuven engineering firm Comate. It will be produced at the rate of 5,000 copies per year in the TRANSfarm research center established in Lovenjoel.

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