Taiwan’s 2050 net-zero carbon emission goal, National Central University and Xinding Nano Company have joined forces to drive innovation in the realm of hydrogen production from seawater.
This groundbreaking collaboration, announced during a recent signing ceremony, marks a pivotal step towards unlocking the potential of “seawater hydrogen production” and catapulting Taiwan into the forefront of clean energy development.
The current hydrogen landscape in Taiwan predominantly relies on natural gas recombination, with over 96% of the nation’s hydrogen originating from this source. However, this heavy dependence on imported natural gas poses challenges, as it places limitations on the capacity of receiving stations and storage tanks. The primary use of natural gas for power generation and daily life further narrows the scope of hydrogen supply. Consequently, securing a stable and clean hydrogen source is imperative for Taiwan’s hydrogen energy sector’s sustainable growth.
The cornerstone of this ambitious endeavor lies in “seawater hydrogen production,” a technology poised to play a pivotal role in Taiwan’s journey toward net-zero carbon emissions. Nevertheless, the path to harnessing hydrogen from seawater is not without its challenges, chief among them being the need for extensive pre-treatment of seawater. This includes reverse osmosis desalination, purification, or alkalization, resulting in a complex and cost-intensive production process.
To surmount these obstacles, Professor Hong Weixuan from the Institute of Materials Science and Technology at National Central University and Xinding Nanotechnology have embarked on a vital technology research and development plan for seawater hydrogen production. Their collaboration aims to address the critical issue of chloride corrosion in seawater, which significantly shortens equipment service life.
National Central University has taken a proactive approach to fostering innovation in sustainability and green energy through the establishment of the “School of Sustainable and Green Energy Technology Research.” This initiative vigorously promotes industry-university collaboration, talent cultivation, research, and development across sustainability and green energy fields. Professor Hong’s expertise in synthetic high-entropy catalyst materials and his collaboration with Professor Ye Junwei from Tsinghua University’s High Entropy Center have paved the way for breakthroughs in material properties that enhance catalyst stability in seawater.
This innovative approach, complemented by Xinding Nano’s extensive research in nanomaterial synthesis technology, has resulted in the development of synergistic composite catalyst materials that boost hydrogen production efficiency. These materials play a pivotal role in the electrolysis of seawater for hydrogen production, marking a crucial milestone in the technology’s development.
The newly devised “seawater hydrogen production” technology demonstrates impressive durability, comparable to existing pure water hydrogen production methods, with a lifespan exceeding 1,000 hours. When combined with Taiwan’s high-entropy material technology and abundant seawater resources, the cost of hydrogen production is poised to decrease significantly. This progress brings Taiwan one step closer to achieving self-sufficiency in hydrogen energy and delivering this sustainable energy source to the people.
The impact of this industry-university collaboration extends beyond the realm of energy production. It promises to invigorate Taiwan’s energy industry, ushering in innovative breakthroughs in energy technology and hydrogen development. With the goal of net-zero carbon emissions firmly in sight, Taiwan is positioning itself as a leader in clean and sustainable energy solutions.