Increasing anthropogenic activity has led to a significant surge in global energy consumption. Presently, the majority of energy generation utilises fossil fuels, resulting in environmentally harmful activities and the production of toxic by-products which contribute to environmental degradation and climate change. Renewable hydrogen is an environmentally friendly energy carrier which has the potential to replace fossil fuels as a global energy fuel source. However, the low efficiency of commercially viable electrolysers limits the utility of renewable hydrogen as an energy carrier. This study presents an overview of the current status of solar powered water electrolysis along with some of the innovative applications used to enhance the overall efficiency of such systems. Such approaches include the application magnetic fields; light energy fields; ultrasonic fields; and pulsating electric fields. This study also provides a new insight into why such applications may be enhancing the efficiency of electrolysis. Including new perspectives on why considering some of the molecular dynamics of water may further enhance the proficiency of such applications due to the applied energy fields’ ability to decrease the molecular bond strength within and between water molecules by altering the energetic spin state of the water molecules; reducing the number of hydrogen bonds within the water; and increasing the distance between the hydrogen to oxygen and oxygen to oxygen bonds within the water. Based on the findings of this study, further advances in the efficient production of renewable hydrogen will require the consideration of the molecular dynamics of the water molecule.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews Vol 135
N.A. Burton, R.V. Padilla, A. Rose, H. Habibullah