Tel Aviv Scientists Develop New Green Hydrogen Production Method
A method of producing green hydrogen with over 90% efficiency using a biocatalyst has been developed by researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU).


Guided by Prof. Iftach Yocaby and Prof. Lihi Adler-Abramovich, the method was developed by doctoral student Itzhak Grinberg, and Dr. Oren Ben-Zvi.

The research is founded upon the rare instances in which atmospheric hydrogen is produced by enzymes in microscopic organisms which receive energy through photosynthesis.

Itzhak explained that electrifying the enzymes to provide energy rather than the sun results in a “particularly efficient process, with no demand for extreme conditions, that can utilise electricity from renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines.

“However, the enzyme ‘runs away’ from the electric charge, so it needs to be held in place through chemical treatment. We found a simple and efficient way to attach the enzyme to the electrode and utilise it.”

To combat this challenge, the researchers used a hydrogel to attach an enzyme to the electrode, enabling them to produce green hydrogen with over 90% efficiency, a “ground-breaking milestone”.

According to Prof. Iftach Yocaby, the gel allows for hydrogen to be produced “at environmental conditions favourable to enzyme – for example, in salt water, in contrast to electrolysis, which requires distilled water.”

Now, the team hope this research could enable the low-cost, commercial production of green hydrogen, with Dr. Oren Ben-Zvi adding: “We hope that in the future, it will be possible to employ our method commercially, to lower the costs, and to make the switch towards using green hydrogen in industry, agriculture, and as a clean energy source.”