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Manganess-infused Water and Sunlight Producing Renewable Hydrogen
In brief: Researchers at Monash University and the University of Davis in California as well as the Australian Synchotron have discovered a method to produce hydrogen from water using manganese (Mn) and sunlight.
The process is renewable and, using only the input of sunlight as an energy source, fully sustainable. It works by first applying voltage (which can be derived from solar) to oxidize the manganese from an Mn-II state to an Mn-IV state in birnessite.
In sunlight, the birnessite revers back to Mn-II. In this process, water is oxidized, splitting into O2 and four positively-charged hydrogen atoms. The protons and electrons of the hydrogen combine to form hydrogen gas (H2).
The birnessite reverted to Mn-II shows little loss and can be charged again for another pass. So the process is almost infinitely renewable provided enough sunlight is available.
And so ...
Researchers are working on scaling up the process.
Photo credits: Stock
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