New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater


Sustainability issue

Category: Energy

It is costly to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater in the aspect of electricity. However, a researcher Yang in the University of Central Florida has come up with a new hybrid nanomaterial that harnesses solar energy and uses it to generate hydrogen from seawater more cheaply and efficiently than current materials.


Technology solution

  • Yang developed a method of fabricating a photocatalyst composed of a hybrid material. Tiny nanocavities were chemically etched onto the surface of an ultrathin film of titanium dioxide, the most common photocatalyst.
  • Those nanocavity indentations were coated with nanoflakes of molybdenum disulfide, a two-dimensional material with the thickness of a single atom.
  • Typical catalysts are able to convert only a limited bandwidth of light to energy. With its new material, Yang’s team is able to significantly boost the bandwidth of light that can be harvested.
  • By controlling the density of sulfur vacancy within the nanoflakes, they can produce energy from ultraviolet-visible to near-infrared light wavelengths, making it at least twice as efficient as current photocatalysts.



  • Consumers
  • Companies that concentrate in renewable and sustainable energy
  • Organizations that are related to the renewable energy
  • Government department which is responsible for energy


Implementation steps

Step 1: Introduce this technology by a variety of methods to the government, energy companies and citizens.

Step 2: Set up a workshop to show audience about the feasibility and market of the technology.

Step 3: Establish a corporation relationship with the government and build an incentive system to encourage city and energy company to use this technology.




Comment on Another Blog Post

Post: Don’t Waste Water: here is the smart way to keep your lawns Green!

Comment: The majority of the work is done through the Rachio mobile app, which guides you through a series of questions that, in theory, determine how much water your plants need. Come prepared with knowledge about what kind of vegetation is being watered, the soil type, sun exposure, and the slope of the land. Rachio crunches the numbers and figures out how long to run the system.


UNI – wy2283



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