The device that was invented by Professor. Thomas Mallouk. and his colleagues, converts solar radiation into electricity through chemical processes. At the same time, it not only serves as a source of electric current, but also decomposes water into oxygen and hydrogen. This new device simulates the effect of photosynthetic systems, which nature has endowed plants, and even many of the microbes - though still with a very low efficiency, according to radio station. Voice of America.
Like all electrochemical generators, it has two electrodes immersed in an electrolyte (in this case - an aqueous solution of common salt ). The negative electrode, the cathode is made of pure platinum. The design of the anode, the positive electrode, it is much harder. It is made of titanium dioxide and coated with an organic pigment mixed with iridium oxide.
The pigment absorbs the blue rays of the sun, which are much more energy than red, yellow or green. Solar rays knock out of its molecules, free electrons, which enter into reactions that lead to the dissociation of water into oxygen and hydrogen. These reactions occur only in the presence of a catalyst, which serves as iridium oxide,.
However, in its current form, a new generator can not decompose water without assistance. He gives a little less than a volt voltage, while for the dissociation of water takes about a quarter of current. Therefore, it produces hydrogen and oxygen only when it is connected to an external source, which provides additional power. In addition, its efficiency does not exceed three tenths of a percent - this is ten times smaller than that of natural photosynthetic systems. However, the developers believe that the elimination of these difficulties - a trick. February 18, they introduced their results with the participants gathered in Boston annual meeting of the American Society in support of science.