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MIT announces innovative design to produce green hydrogen from solar

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Carbon Herald or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Engineers from the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have unveiled an innovative system designed to harness solar heat for the efficient production of green hydrogen
• This announcement, made on MIT's official website, marks a significant step forward in the quest for sustainable energy solutions

🔭 The context: The study, recently published in the Solar Energy Journal, introduces a conceptual design for a "solar thermochemical hydrogen" (STCH) system which, unlike traditional hydrogen production methods that depend on fossil fuels, the STCH system exclusively uses renewable solar energy, ensuring a completely emissions-free process
• Historically, hydrogen production has relied heavily on natural gas and other non-renewable resources, raising environmental concerns

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Previous STCH designs had efficiency limitations, converting only about 7% of incoming sunlight into hydrogen but MIT's new design aims to dramatically boost this efficiency, potentially capturing up to 40% of the sun's heat for green hydrogen production
• This enhancement could significantly lower the system's overall cost, positioning STCH as a scalable and cost-effective solution for decarbonizing sectors like transportation

⏭️ What's next: The innovative system features a train-like arrangement of reactors surrounding a concentrated solar plant (CSP) tower, featuring a key innovation: the system's efficient heat utilization, with reactors exchanging heat through thermal radiation
• MIT plans to test a prototype of this system in concentrated solar power facilities next year

💬 One quote: "We’re thinking of hydrogen as the fuel of the future, and there’s a need to generate it cheaply and at scale" (Ahmed Ghoniem, lead author)

📈 One stat: The researchers are optimistic that their system can help achieve the U.S. Department of Energy's ambitious target of producing green hydrogen at $1 per kilogram by 2031

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