The University of Toledo has been selected among 29 other universities and organisations to receive a total of $40m from the US Department of Energy (DOE) for new projects focusing on hydrogen fuel.
UToldeo was awarded $750,000 to improve water-splitting, the process of breaking apart the water molecule, separating hydrogen from oxygen. The hydrogen, which produces only water when consumed in a fuel cell, can then be used as a clean fuel.
The photovoltaics team, led by Dr. Yanfa Yan, UToledo Professor of Physics, and Dr. Zhaoning Song, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will develop low-cost photoelectrodes for more efficient photoelectrochemical water splitting using material from their perovskite solar cells.
Perovskites are compound materials with a special crystal structure formed through chemistry. The perovskite cells can have high efficiency, collecting more of the sun’s energy and transforming it into the electricity needed to split the water molecule and produce hydrogen.
“Perovskite absorbers have drawn extensive attention due to their demonstrated capability of fabricating solar cells with outstanding conversion efficiencies,” said Yan.
“We are excited about this opportunity and eager to apply perovskite absorbers to advance the photoelectrochemical water-splitting technology.”
Funded through the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) with contribution from DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, the selected projects will advance hydrogen storage and infrastructure technologies and identify innovative concepts for hydrogen production utilisation including electrical grid resiliency.
“Toledo is at the forefront of the development of innovative technologies that move our country and our world further,” said Congresswoman Macy Kaptur.
“I am pleased to see that the University of Toledo has been awarded this valuable $750,000 grant from the Department of Energy to facilitate the University’s important research into hydrogen as a clean fuel and to cement our region as a clean energy, research and manufacturing hub.”