HyperSolar, a California-based renewable energy company, claims that it has developed a zero carbon method for producing hydrogen gas.
HyperSolar’s technique uses photoelectrochemical nanoparticles to separate hydrogen from water molecules. The nanoparticles float in transparent vessels full of wastewater and convert the water to hydrogen by a process that HyperSolar CEO Tim Young says was “inspired by photosynthesis.”
Hydrogen is often touted as a clean alternative to gasoline, but the current method for generating hydrogen requires a great deal of energy – so effectively it is a clean-burning fuel with a dirty production method. Removing fossil fuels from the production side of the equation is the only way to make it truly clean.
So how far along is HyperSolar’s research? The company has a working prototype and believes that the technology is eminently scalable and that the byproducts of production, which include hydrogen bromide and hydrogen chlorides, can also be sold. The big test, however, is going to be the price of the finished product.