Having recently surpassed the 1.5 Volt threshold needed to produce hydrogen in commercially viable real world applications, HyperSolar has turned its attention to increasing photocurrent and production efficiency that it believes will drive down overall system costs. In December 2015, the University of Iowa led by Dr. Syed Mubeen Hussaini identified a sulfide-based photocatalyst comprised of an earth abundant, non-toxic cheap material that it believed would rival platinum, a well-known catalyst material. The preliminary data following a series of laboratory tests indicates success in meeting these objectives.
The ramifications of this breakthrough are significant, particularly the solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency. Historically, the key commercial barrier to renewable-produced (solar and wind) hydrogen fuel has been the expense of various system components. HyperSolar believes the initial successes of utilizing this earth abundant photocatalyst clearly demonstrates its potential to compete with platinum, therefore significant reducing overall system cost.
“We are pleased to make another technology announcement that we believe separates HyperSolar technology from other renewable hydrogen production concepts on the market,” said Tim Young, CEO of HyperSolar. “The challenge facing widespread hydrogen fuel adoption has always surrounded both cost and scalability. While we have achieved high voltage, and now high current, we must improve the long-term stability of bonding the photocatalyst to our novel high voltage solar cell. We are confident this progress has us positioned to do so in a manner that will have large scale ramifications as we continue to advance the technology.”
HyperSolar’s research is centered on developing a low-cost and submersible hydrogen production particle that can split water molecules under the sun, emulating the core functions of photosynthesis. Each particle is a complete hydrogen generator that contains a novel high voltage solar cell bonded to chemical catalysts by a proprietary encapsulation coating.