Have the future of air purification and power generation arrived in one small, sustainable bundle? Researchers from the University of Antwerp and KU Leuven (University of Leuven), Belgium would say yes.
This new device, which has yet to be named, only needs to be exposed to light to purify air and generate power. Professor Sammy Verbruggen (UAntwerp/KU Leuven)
describes, “We use a small device with two rooms separated by a membrane. Air is purified on one side, while on the other side hydrogen gas is produced from a part of the degradation products. This hydrogen gas can be stored and used later as fuel, as is already being done in some hydrogen buses, for example.”
This new technology could be instrumental in promoting a future of clean air, as well as alternative energy production. Not to mention, the simplicity of its requirements— only light—
are very user-friendly.
Although the setup and functionality of the device are simple, the science behind it is complex and truly revolutionary. On a larger scale, the device could be used industrially to promote sustainability and efficiency on a grand scale.
Researchers are continuing to work on the device, even improving it’s materials so sunlight can be used more efficiently to trigger reactions. Scientists hope the device helps respond to two major social qualms: purified air and alternative energy production. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.
Photo by JimmyJoe/Flickr, CC BY 2.0
Caitlin Phillips is a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia.