Solar Paint and Clean Energy

Samantha Zeitz

A team from RMIT University has developed a paint that could turn our walls into an energy source.

RMIT University researchers developed a new compound for paint that can produce hydrogen fuel. The University News website reported about the solar paint recently. Lead researcher, Dr. Torben Daeneke told RMIT News that when they mix their compound with titanium oxide particles, it creates a sunlight-absorbing paint that creates hydrogen fuel from solar energy and moist air. Titanium oxide is already commonly found in wall paint that creates the white pigment.

The paint absorbs the moisture from the air, and then splits the water vapour into hydrogen and oxygen. The compound responsible for this action can be compared to silica gel, the packets used to absorb moisture you might find in your electronic packaging but with the bonus of separating the water molecules.

One of the advantages to this new discovery is that there is no need to be close to water. Daeneke has stated that anywhere that has water vapour in the air can produce the fuel, and the water doesn’t have to be clean or filtered. This means that remote areas far from water can still do their part in producing energy. As well as areas that are hot and dry, but close to water. The water will absorb under the hot sun allowing the paint to absorb it.

Touted as one of the cleanest forms of energy; hydrogen energy is versatile. It can be used in fuel cells and in conventional combustion engines as an alternative to fossil fuels.

To help spread the word about this latest energy advancement, RMIT posted a video on YouTube. Click on the link below to check it out.