Scientists Create Hydrogen Fuel from Air

    Scientists Create Hydrogen Fuel from Air
    Last updated Sep 06, 2022
    Image credit: ISTOCK/Getty Images [via Newsweek]


    • According to a paper published on Tues. in the journal Nature Communications, scientists have reportedly invented a solar-powered "direct air electrolyzer" (DAE), which allows for hydrogen to be extracted from the air rather than liquid water.[1]
    • The solar-powered prototype produces hydrogen fuel with over 99% purity and can work with humidity levels as low as 4% - a feature highly beneficial for regions where water is scarce.[2]
    • The scientists found that sulphuric acid was best at acting as a sponge-like material for capturing airborne water.[3]
    • Such technologies are potentially key to decarbonizing industries such as steel making. They could also be instrumental in regions of the world with high solar power potential but little water - like middle Australia and the Middle East.[3]
    • Once matured, the technology could also potentially be used in hydrogen nuclear fusion reactors.[1]


    Narrative A

    This exciting innovation could be a key to solving our most severe environmental and climate problems, as even the dryest regions of the world will be able to extract hydrogen for a renewable energy source. If this invention continues to progress, technological necessities such as cars could eventually be run by hydropower, leaving the reliance on fossil fuels in the past.

    Narrative B

    We need to separate the promise of exciting "inventions" from the realities of implementation. Whether it's new COVID pills or breakthroughs in alternative energy technology, unless there's heavy investment in infrastructure, these "inventions" often don't deliver. We can't rely on science and technology alone to solve our energy problems - innovation is overrated, and implementation is vastly underrated.

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