Ever wondered about a paint that could possibly produce clean energy? Recently, a team of researchers from RMIT Australia cracked the shell with their invention of a solar paint. Knocking the socks off, the innovative paint draws moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. As a result, the hydrogen produced can be captured as a clean fuel source.
Solar Paint: In-depth
With a wide research on the subject, the researchers developed a compound similar to silica gel which is easily obtainable in shoes and bags commonly for absorbing moisture. The compound is scientifically known as synthetic molybdenum-sulfide. It acts as a semi conductor which helps in splitting of water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen.
The researchers detected that if titanium oxide particles which are already present in wall paints if added with molybdenum-sulfide will lead to sunlight-absorbing paint that produces hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air.
On the grounds of success
The addition of titanium dioxide to the paint boosts its sunlight absorbing abilities, making the paint into a hydrogen fuel plant that can be applied to any surface. This can be applied to any place which has water vapor in the air. Hence, the paint is suitable to all climates.
The technology designed turns out to be a breakthrough as the hydrogen created by solar paint does not require a supply of clean water instead it catches water vapour from air. It avoids the use of liquid water completely.
Availability in the market
An invention turns out to be a success when it is examined thoroughly. As the development is in its initial stage, the product’s commercialization will take a longer time. The complete development predicts to be completed in minimum 5 years.
Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh, a professor at RMIT, says “this system can also be used in very dry but hot climates near oceans. The sea water is evaporated by the hot sunlight and the vapour can then be absorbed to produce fuel.”