Just when you thought everything had already been invented, researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology introduced a scientific breakthrough to the world. Researchers at RMIT are “painting the town red” with solar paint, a new product they’ve engineered to produce fuel.
As unbelievable as it sounds, a press release about this magnificent material had only been put out this past June. Although it will not be commercially available for a few years, it is yet another tool that solar energy will bring to the market to not only produce a cleaner environment, but to provide a cost efficient source of energy for businesses and homes
Solar paint produces hydrogen fuel, which can be used for traditional combustion engines and fuel cells, solely with sunlight and water vapor in the air. This occurs by mixing titanium oxide, a common ingredient in wall paint, and a new material called synthetic molybdenum-sulphide. This process actually splits the water atom into hydrogen and oxygen, allowing for hydrogen based fuel. So, essentially, by adding this new material to paint, cleaner energy can be more widely and readily avialble to the public.
RMIT and Futurism look into the benefits of solar paint and explain how much potential this somewhat simple yet completely unique product has. Dr. Torben Daeneke, lead researcher, states that “any place that has water vapor in the air, even remote areas far from water, can produce fuel” which means that places where solar energy may have not been extremely viable before can now use solar paint to enter into the renewable energy field.
The ever expanding solar market just got that much bigger. There are so many new solar products, such as Tesla's roofing tiles which double as solar panels, that it seemed as if there couldn’t be any more room for a new innovation. However, pretty soon, with the help of solar paint, even a picket fence can be a source of clean energy!