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IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike

Solar-powered H2 production from atmospheric humidity: A novel system to generate renewable fuels in deserted and off-grid areas

Awarded: NOK 70,852

Project Number:


Project Period:

2019 - 2020


Partner countries:

The impact of climate change on water quality and quantity is an important societal concern. The duration, magnitude and frequency of droughts are increasing due to the climate change. Water electrolysis is a rising method for hydrogen production and clean water supplies will become of vital importance. ATMOS aims to further develop and improve a method of technological interest for areas where clean water resources, as well as grid infrastructure are limited or non-existing. ATMOS is developed in UiO and is a solar-powered water electrolysis system, which can produce renewable fuels (H2) from atmospheric humidity and sunlight. Humidity is the water source in this system and it is always present in air. More specifically, ATMOS is a photoelectrochemical water vapor electrolysis device, in which the traditionally used aqueous electrolytes are replaced by polymer proton conducting membranes (PCM). The PCM provides also separation of the oxygen and hydrogen evolving sides and support to the anode and cathode electrodes. The electrodes in this solid-state photoelectrochemical (SSPEC) device are comprised of photoactive materials based on earth-abundant elements. Especially the photo-anode is based on TiO2, which is a well-studied photocatalyst. Its main drawback is the low light absorption efficiency, which is restricted to the UV region only. To this end, the IMM group from the University Paris Diderot specializes in the visible light sensitization of TiO2 with quantum dots, which are synthesized by soft chemistry routes. ATMOS seeks the improvement in the efficiency of the novel SSPEC water vapor electrolysis system by an international collaboration between two research groups of complementary expertize. Moreover, the scientists involved in ATMOS will benefit from the international mobility both from a scientific point of view, as well as from a cultural. Ultimate outcome of ATMOS is common publications and an EU proposal for extended follow-up activities.

Funding scheme:

IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike