University of Cambridge scientists use sunlight to extract clean fuel from biomass

A study published by the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom on the 14th showed that a team of the university has developed a new method to use sunlight to extract hydrogen from biomass. If the technology is mature, it is expected to produce this clean fuel at a lower cost in the future.

All living and growing organic matter is called biomass. Biomass energy is also a new energy that many countries have tried to develop in recent years. However, the higher costs and energy consumption in the conversion process have brought a lot of obstacles to the promotion of this type of energy.

The new method developed by the Cambridge University team is based on a photocatalytic hydrogen conversion process. The researchers soaked the biomass in alkaline water and added catalytic nanoparticles, and then placed the solution under laboratory lighting to simulate sunlight exposure.

The results show that the nanoparticles themselves can absorb light energy efficiently, and use it to activate a series of complex chemical reactions to promote the final formation of hydrogen and other organic chemicals in the biomass. The newly generated hydrogen can be used as fuel after being collected.

The team used different biomass materials during the experiment, such as wood, leaves, etc., and obtained good conversion effects. Moreover, the new method does not require pre-processing of biomass in advance.

David Wickley, a Cambridge University scholar and one of the authors of the report, said that biomass stores a lot of chemical energy, which cannot be used directly, for example, as a vehicle fuel. However, the new method can use light energy to complete the entire conversion process. As long as it is sunny, organic matter can be put into this system to produce hydrogen fuel.

The research results have been published in the magazine "Natural Energy". (Reporter Zhang Jiawei)

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