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The fossil fuel age is bound to end, for several strong reasons. As an alternative to fossil fuels, hydrogen seems very attractive. The gas has a huge energy density, it can be stored or processed further, e. g. to methane, or directly provide clean electricity via a fuel cell. If it is produced using sunlight alone, hydrogen is completely renewable with zero carbon emissions.

Similar to a process in natural photosynthesis, sunlight can also be used in "artificial leafs" to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. Artificial leafs combine photoactive semiconducting materials and can reach efficiencies beyond 15 %. However, those record efficiencies were obtained using expensive systems, which also tend to decompose in aqueous solutions. For successful commercialization costs need to go down and stability needs to increase.

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