Scientists have now created a new, “solar paint” which could reportedly help ensure some of the energy needs thanks to its ability to produce hydrogen fuel. Based on a new material, this paint can absorb water vapors and then split them into their core components.
Researchers from all around the globe are hard at work in trying to find new sources of energy or in replicating some of nature’s processes. This new technology is the achievement of a team of scientists part of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology led by Dr. Torben Daeneke. Study results are available in the journal ACS Nano.
New, Solar Paint Could Transform the Walls of A Building
According to a statement from the team, its solar paint is based on molybdenum-sulphide, a newly developed synthetic material. This is capable of working similarly to silica gel. More exactly, it can absorb water vapors from the air. But the new material can also act as a “semiconductor”. Namely, it works as a catalyst in the process of splitting water molecules into their base oxygen and hydrogen.
Dr. Torben stated that: “mixing the compound with titanium oxide particles leads to a sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air.”
He then pointed out that titanium oxide is an already common element in wall paint. So the team considers that the mere addition of a new element can significantly increase a wall’s utility.
A standard brick wall could seemingly turn into an energy harvesting and fuel producing element. One that could help the real estate that the wall itself keeps up.
Daeneke also pointed out that this invention has numerous advantages. For example, it can eliminate the need for either clean or filtered water to “feed the system”.
He also states that this solar paint could potentially be utilized in any areas. Even in dry but very hot regions near oceans. As the sun evaporates seawater, the resulting vapors could get absorbed and transformed by the new technology.
The research team hopes that its paint will come to be used alongside solar cells. It also predicts that although the solar paint will be cheap to produce, it will take at least another five more years before it can become ready for commercialization.
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