Nowadays pollution generated by the vehicles is a major problem across the world. The auto industry is facing two major challenges; one is to reduce the air pollution and second is finding an alternative to fossil fuels. However, those days are not far behind when these problems will be eradicated forever and will become a history. Yes, we are talking about the new device developed by Belgian scientists. This device uses light and a unique catalyst in order to clean the polluted air. It also produces hydrogen which can be reused in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. It is, however, too early to say that it is going to solve the problems as implementation on the wider scale is not yet done. This device is in its early stage. But this is surely an amazing research, and if implemented successfully, it can be really great work for future generations.
This device uses the process known as heterogeneous photocatalysis. Earlier it was used to drain off hydrogen from the water and to abolish gas-based pollutants. However, nobody has used both at once in the past. Now it seems that the Belgian team has managed this. It utilizes the solar cells to produce hydrogen similar to electrolysis water-splitting.
As per the professor Sammy Verbruggen, these two processes work in one device, and they refer them as two individual rooms. These two rooms are separated by a membrane in order to isolate each process. On one side of the experiment, air is purified with the help of photoanode. While on another side of this device hydrogen is produced through degradation process. The cathode is placed behind the solid electrolyte membrane.
He further added that the choice of the catalyst was the major factor behind this success. Earlier these cells were used to extract hydrogen from the water. Now researchers found that it was even more efficient with polluted air.
The team has pointed out that this device is at very early stage of development. There is, still, ample room for improvement in this device. As of now the device only measures a few square centimeter of an area. Due to this, it is very hard to power up any vehicle or to nullify the carbon emissions.
The team is very excited about this project and says that exciting development has to start from somewhere. This experiment surely looks to be encouraging.