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Hydrogen produced from water splitting could become a new energy source
NTU Department of Chemistry announced research findings at the 2nd
Taiwan/UK International Networking for Young Scientists International Seminar

When water is decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen, it could turn into a form of electricity. At the "2nd Taiwan/UK International Networking for Young Scientists Seminar on the advanced oxide catalytic materials, energy, and spintronics"held at the NTU Center for Condensed Matter Science and the Hall of Physics from March 9th to 10th, Department of Chemistry Professor Dr. Ru-shi Liu, along with a number of domestic and foreign scientists announced this cutting technology which has been pursued actively by many countries. In due course, the electrical appliances used in people's daily lives and the transportation vehicles could all use water as their energy source.

Dr. Ru-shi Liu, Professor of Chemistry at NTU, and Dr. Wen-sheng Chang, a research fellow at the Energy and Environment Research Laboratory of the Industrial Technology Research Institute, pointed out that, in the face of mounting pressures from the demand for energy and the need for carbon dioxide reduction, developed nations of the world are all actively seeking renewable energy sources to replace the traditional fossil fuels. As hydrogen possesses an ultra high energy density, and turns into water after combustion, it does not pollute our environment. Thus, hydrogen is regarded as the next generation energy source with high potentials to replace the fossil fuels.

Hydrogen can be produced in two ways - the solar power method and the water electrolysis method. Both methods can split water into hydrogen and oxygen, the difference lies in that, the solar power method utilizes photo-catalysts which draws its power from the sun, and, without relying on any external electrical power , it can split water to produce pure hydrogen. As shown in the attached chart, when oxide catalysts are exposed to sunlight, they undergo a chemical reaction which decomposes water and produces oxygen. This provides fuel cells the needed fuels to convert hydrogen into electricity which empowers the electrical fan.

This demonstration of the solar power hydrogen producing method was developed by the Energy and Environment Laboratory of The Industrial Technology Research Institute in collaboration with National Chung-Cheng University, National Taiwan University, the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences of Academia Sinica and private sector industries. The principles of system design was given explanation in the Taiwan/UK INYS Seminar.

The International Networking for Young Scientists Program was initiated by the British Council. Its purpose was to provide young scientists of the world a platform for innovative idea exchange through the study of important topics. Held usually in the format of short conferences, this program allows UK to converge with the international society and to network with the young scientists of the world. The 2nd INYS Seminar on advanced oxide catalytic materials, energy, and spintronics was jointly proposed by Professor Ru-shi Liu of NTU's Department of Chemistry, Professor Guang-Yu Guo of NTU's Department of Physics, and Professor Paul Attfield of University of Edinburgh. This year marks the second time that the INYS Seminar is held in Taiwan. Taiwan's National Science Council and UK's British Council provide guidance for this event, whereas NTU and the University of Edinburgh serve as co-organizers.

As most developed nations of the world regard the effects of catalytic reactions on new energy materials and the new components derived from spintronics as important R&D topics, this year's INYS Seminar adopted the catalytic oxide materials, energy and spintronics as its theme to kick off this international exchange program. The agenda of the seminar was for two days (March 9th, and March 10th, and the venues were the NTU Center for Condensed Matter Science and the Hall of Physics. The three major topics were: 1. The catalytic mechanism of oxides and its applications; 2. Studies on lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen produced from water electrolysis and related energy sources; 3. Theory and applications on the spintronics phenomena of oxides.

This year's INYS Seminar invited young scholars of chemistry, physics, and material science from UK and Taiwan to exchange dialogues and opinions. These scholars included Professor Paul Attfield and 14 experts from UK and over 20 scholars from Taiwan. Through the format of this Seminar, these scholars announced their research findings in the above mentioned three major areas, which encompassed over 20 oral sessions and 40 presentations of posters. As a result, Taiwan/UK academic cooperation is firmly established. More importantly, mutual understanding between Taiwanese and British young scholars is enhanced, and a closer tie that binds both parties is formed. In the future, UK and Taiwan young scholars will strive together to find solutions for 21st century chemistry related energy source and new physical components, and provide new directions for research with regard to the fast developing modern energy source and components related theories and applications.

Chinese version