The energy demand of the world is increasing day by day. The fossil fuel reserves are getting depleted fast. Scientists all over the world are trying to find other alternative sources of energy, particularly non-polluting and renewable. A lot of work has been done in the last decade to develop many unconventional and renewable sources of energy. Major renewable sources of energy which show great promise are:
- Sunlight – photovoltaic conversion to electricity.
- Air – mechanical energy of wind can be converted into electrical energy.
- Geothermal – underground heat is used in raising steam. The steam so produced is used in producing electricity.
- Tidal waves in sea – mechanical energy of sea tidal waves can be converted into electrical energy.
- Hydrogen – obtained from river or sea water, and can be used as a fuel in a fuel cell.
Each of the above sources has its own advantages, and limitations. Some are expensive, while others produce energy only under favourable weather conditions. J. O’M Bockris (an American Electrochemist of great repute), and a few other scientists consider hydrogen as a versatile future fuel. This is because:
- its source, water, is in abundance on the earth.
- the product of its combustion is water – a non-polluting substance.
It is because of these reasons that hydrogen is being considered as a future source of energy.
Hydrogen can be obtained from water by mainly two methods. These are,
- Photo electrolysis
- Photochemical decomposition
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