A new method which transforms electricity into hydrogen or chemical products by solely using microwaves, has been discovered by researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
Without the use of cables and any type of contact with electrodes, the method is based on the phenomenon of the microwave reduction of solid materials. It uses electrochemical processes directly without requiring electrodes, simplifying and reducing capital.
Project researchers have already recognised the technology’s great potential for the automotive sector, specifically for cars fuelled by fuel cells and hybrids or large vehicles such as trains or ships.
Professor José Manuel Serra, researcher from the Chemical Technology Institute (ITQ), said, “It is a technology with great practical potential, especially for its use in energy storage and production of synthetic fuels and green chemicals.”
“This aspect has significant importance nowadays, as both transportation and industry are immersed in a transition towards decarbonisation and electrification, meaning they have to meet very challenging targets in 2030 and 2040 in order to decrease the consumption of energy and substances from fossil sources, mainly natural gas and oil.”
Professor José Manuel Catalá, researcher at the ITACA institute of the UPV, added, “This method will make it possible to transform renewable electricity, typically of solar or wind origin, into added value products and green fuels.”
“It has countless uses and we hope that new uses will emerge for energy storage and process industry, by tuning materials composition and operation conditions.”