IIT-Jodhpur' researchers striving to get Cars and autos to photosynthesize just like plants

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 08, 2018 17:17 hrs
Car Plant (Reuters image)

Inspired by the process of photosynthesis, Researchers and students from IIT-Jodhpur have created a technology that could reduce pollution levels.

The innovative solution from The Department of Chemistry at the institute, breaks Oxygen and Hydrogen molecules in water by using a catalyst called Lanthanide.

Lanthanide is referred to as dupe oxygen. In the process, pure hydrogen molecules left behind can be used as a natural fuel and thereby there will be no emissions.

Researchers claim that this technology is similar to hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Rakesh Kumar Sharma, head of the Chemistry department was quoted saying that the team tried nearly 700 catalyst-combinations to obtain pure hydrogen. Current processes are expensive and it involves burning methane at an industrial level. This process also involves reaching temperature levels of at least over 1000 degrees to break Methane molecules.

Sharma said that the current processes increased global warming as it produced greenhouse gases.

Hydrogen fuel right now is a very expensive proposition and costs almost four times than the petrol prices in India.

Implementation of this process on a larger scale is yet to be tried and the actual cost of production of hydrogen is unknown. The process requires sunlight which will see the cost of the future fuel being at par with current conventional fuel. If successful, this can be a groundbreaking technology and will see India getting many cars being powered by hydrogen fuel cell.

IIT-Jodhpur has applied for a patent of this process which is inspired by nature and is also developing a prototype for this model. The team will further also try using clay available in Rajasthan as a catalyst to bring down the cost of hydrogen fuel.

If the application hits commercial cars, we could have cars on the road respire just like plants, thereby bringing a great deal of change to our environment.

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