Solar powers makes household hydrogen

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Article reads: The main reason we haven’t converted all of our energy needs over to renewable sources (such as wind, water, and solar power) is because the process isn’t yet quite as efficient (or as cheap) as relying on finite fossil fuels. As much as we can count on the consistent patterns of the sun, for instance, we can’t be quite sure if there might be clouds obscuring its coveted rays from our solar collectors — and if there’s a sizable break in the photovoltaic collection of that sunlight (such as night time), an interruption in service is unavoidable because there’s not currently a good way to store that energy for later use. But this may all change with a discovery made by Duke University engineer Nico Hotz that takes a less direct approach to the conversion of solar power into electricity whereby the collected sunlight is used to heat a concoction of methanol and water in glass tubes. Two catalytic reactions later, hydrogen is produced — which, unlike direct solar power, can be stored and used at will long after the sun’s gone down.

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