A research group led by Professor Masakazu Sugiyama of the University of Tokyo and Professor Kensuke Nishioka of Miyazaki University has succeeded in producing hydrogen with the highest efficiency in the world using solar cells.It is a new progress toward the realization of a hydrogen-based society.

 Demand for hydrogen is expected to increase in the future as a clean fuel that does not emit carbon dioxide.However, it is currently manufactured from fossil fuels such as petroleum and natural gas.In order to recommend the use of hydrogen as a completely clean fuel, technology for producing hydrogen efficiently and at low cost using sunlight is indispensable.The energy conversion efficiency of the method using a photocatalyst that absorbs sunlight and chemically decomposes water, which has been actively studied so far, has been less than 10%.On the other hand, the method of electrolysis using solar cells can reduce energy loss, and in 2000 the Israeli group achieved a conversion efficiency of 18.3%.In response to this, Professor Sugiyama and his colleagues tried to use a solar cell that collects sunlight with a lens to improve power generation efficiency.As a result, we succeeded in producing hydrogen with an energy conversion efficiency of 24% or more.Since the equipment required for this method is already on the market, it is possible to build a system sufficiently with the current technology.Another advantage is that solar cells can be used for a long time, compared to catalysts that deteriorate with repeated use.

 Furthermore, it is expected that the performance of concentrating solar cells using lenses will be improved in the future, and the final hydrogen production efficiency is expected to reach about 28%.Although it may not be possible to realize at the living level yet, this year's hydrogen-related research results are being actively reported, which is suitable for the year called the first year of hydrogen.

Tokyo University

Established in the 10th year of the Meiji era.A university with the longest history in Japan and at the forefront of Japanese knowledge

The University of Tokyo was established in 1877 (Meiji 10) by integrating the Tokyo Kaisei School and the Tokyo Medical School.Since its establishment, it has developed education and research in a unique way in the world as a leading university in Japan and an academic center for the fusion of East and West cultures.As a result, many human resources have been produced in a wide range of fields, and many research achievements […]

Miyazaki University

Cultivate abundant human and practical skills with a view to the world and contribute to medical care in the community

Under the slogan "Let's start from the region with a view to the world," Miyazaki University inherits and develops intellectual heritage related to science and culture as a crystal of human wisdom, explores deep science, and preserves the global environment. Aiming to create interdisciplinary life sciences, we have posted as an educational philosophy the development of human resources who can meet the diverse demands of a changing society […].

University Journal Online Editorial Department

This is the online editorial department of the university journal.
Articles are written by editorial staff who have a high level of knowledge and interest in universities and education.
For inquiries and opinions regarding the content of articles, etc. hereThank you.