JERUSALEM, April 21 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers developed a method for clean production of hydrogen fuel, Tel Aviv University (TAU) in central Israel said Wednesday.
Hydrogen is considered the cleanest fuel, as its consumption emits only clean water vapor, but its production process consumes much energy and emits a large amount of pollutants into the air. By decomposing water with the enzyme hydrogenase can we produce hydrogen cleanly and efficiently. However, it is limited to use the enzyme in that it is immediately neutralized in the presence of oxygen.
In a study, led by TAU, and published in the journal ACS Nano, the researchers found a simple way to create an oxygen-free environment for the enzyme. The team created hydrogel (water-based gel) by using a common biological substance.
The substance, a dipeptide consisting of two amino acids, is known as a building block for nanofibers that make up hydrogel.
The team put the enzyme in a solution containing the building blocks, which then rapidly arranged on their own, creating a hydrogel in which the enzyme is woven.
Further experiments found that the protected enzyme survived in water for hours.
The findings may also support many other applications which require the protection of oxygen-sensitive materials, such as protecting car cooling systems from rust, transporting oxygen, food packaging that preserves freshness, and more.