The innovation could provide useful access to a clean and renewable energy source

Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia created a new type of solar paint that can produce unlimited amounts of energy from water vapor. The paint draws out moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then collected as a renewable fuel option.

The solar paint itself consists of a compound that feels like silica gel (used to keep goods dry) and acts like a semiconductor. The material is called synthetic molybdenum-sulphide. Once mixed with titanium oxide particles, it acts as the catalyst to split water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen. Since titanium oxide already commonly exists in paint, adding in this new compound is relatively easy.

“Our new development has a big range of advantages,” lead researcher Dr. Torben Daeneke said. “There’s no need for clean or filtered water to feed the system. Any place that has water vapour in the air, even remote areas far from water, can produce fuel.”

RMIT University

Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia created a new type of solar paint that can produce unlimited amounts of energy from water vapor. The paint draws out moisture from the air and splits it into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is then collected as a renewable fuel option.

The solar paint itself consists of a compound that feels like silica gel (used to keep goods dry) and acts like a semiconductor. The material is called synthetic molybdenum-sulphide. Once mixed with titanium oxide particles, it acts as the catalyst to split water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen. Since titanium oxide already commonly exists in paint, adding in this new compound is relatively easy.