But Scientists all over the place have been working on catalysts that can split water using sunlight for a while now, but until recently, they've all been using expensive elements like platinum. Now, MIT claims that they've created a paper-thing solar cell that uses a cheap catalyst to split water. The genius of this setup is:
- It is cheap and efficient
- The catalyst is stable and lasts far longer than earlier attempts
- It can be used in any type of water, and would produce clean drinking water once the hydrogen and oxygen are put back together
The team haven't released their findings in a peer-reviewed journal yet, so the full story is still unknown. And there's still one major problem: no-one has yet built a safe, cheap hydrogen fuel cell to make use of all that hydrogen. But it's still an exciting step forwards!
If you want to get more pumped about what this technology could do for the world, check out this video featuring Dan Nocera, one of the lead researchers on this project at MIT.