While plants and trees can do it, producing hydrogen for use via sunlight has proven to be a difficult process for us humans. But according to the Environmental News Network, researchers at Penn State have now developed a device that can use sunlight to split water and produce recoverable hydrogen more efficiently. The key to their process is a cluster of molecules surrounded by orange-red dye. When visible light strikes the dye, the energy excites the electrons, which, with the help of an iridium oxide catalyst, can split water and create free oxygen and hydrogen. The process creates an efficiency of only one-third of one percent, whereas nature can do this at 3 percent, but this still bodes well for the future of hydrogen energy research.

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