Metal Foam Could Help In the Production of Low-Cost Carbon-Free Hydrogen

Metal Foam Could Help In the Production of Low-Cost Carbon-Free Hydrogen

A research by researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia has established that the use of metal foam could shape future hydrogen production. In their study, they demonstrate how the use of metal foam could help in significantly reducing the cost of producing carbon-free hydrogen. Their finding comes at a time when efforts are ongoing to help solve the problem of high costs of producing hydrogen for use as a clean alternative to fossil fuels.

While great strides have been made over the years with regards to the production of hydrogen, scaling the production cost-effectively has been one of the greatest challenges. Arguably, the focus now in many projects worldwide is seeking to help in making breakthroughs with regards to costs in the production, distribution, and storage of hydrogen. So far, notable progress has been made in these areas. Also, major innovations and discoveries are being made each day that are making the transition from fossil fuels to hydrogen easier as time passes.

For a while, Saudi Arabia has been exploring ways of not only producing hydrogen but also becoming a global supplier. With its hydrogen investments and strategy, it targets a production and supply of 2.9 million tons annually by the year 2030. The discovery by KAUST, therefore, increases its chances of achieving its objectives of becoming a global icon in the production and supply of clean hydrogen. So, what exactly is unique about the discovery?

In their work, the researchers explored a rather unique path. Their major aim was to find a way in which the use of electrodes made from expensive metals could be avoided. “We used a rapid scalable wet chemical approach to grow two-dimensional cobalt iron hydroxide (CoFe-OH) nanosheets on nickel foam substrates. We then deposited iron oxyhydroxide (FeOOH) nanoparticles to the surface. Using this approach, our team created a material that combines relatively high electrical conductivity and high surface area covered with active sites for the production of molecular oxygen”. This according to them is the path that lead to a promising discovery. 

See also  Uniper-Owned OKG Partners with Hynion to Supply Hydrogen for Fuel Stations

The researchers indicate that the innovation is not only working but is also effective. That points to the possibility of being refined and used in the large-scale production of hydrogen in the future. More work and research are, however, required for improvements before the technology can be rolled out. Thankfully, tests on the performance show that the cells can retain good performance for several days. The work, therefore, contributes to what other scientists are doing to make the production of hydrogen cost-effective and sustainable.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *