Researchers at Michigan Technological University have found a way to convert light to hydrogen fuel more efficiently — a big step closer to mimicking photosynthesis.
Current methods for creating hydrogen fuel are based on using electrodes made from titanium dioxide (TiO2), which acts as a catalyst to stimulate the light–>water–>hydrogen chemical reaction. This works great with ultraviolet (UV) light, but UV comprises only about 4% of the total solar energy, making the overall process highly inefficient.
Ref: Highly Efficient Temperature-Induced Visible Light Photocatalytic Hydrogen Production from Water. Journal of Physical Chemistry (2015) | DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b04894