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Hydrogen From Seawater

Written by Luke Burgess
Posted April 21, 2019 at 8:00PM

The world's oceans cover 70% of Earth's surface. And they contain roughly 321 million cubic miles of water.

Yeah, we're talking cubic miles here.

How much is that?

46.8 BILLION gallons of seawater for every person on the planet!

In other words, the ratio of you to the amount of seawater on the planet is 1:71,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.

All that water, of course, contains an incredible abundance of life. There are over 220,000 identified plant, animal, and other species in the world's oceans. And estimates suggest there are as many as 2 million species in the seas that remain undiscovered.

But the ocean water contains a lot more than just a bunch of odd fish and plants. It possibly holds the key to our future energy demands.

The world's oceans contain enough potential energy to supply human beings with energy to last for millions of years... yes, millions of years!

You learned in elementary school that water is two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen: H2O. Then in high school, you may have learned that splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is relatively simple with the help of electricity, a.k.a. electrolysis.

So why can't all the hydrogen in the world's oceans be used as a fuel?

Well, it can be.

But there's a catch...

The salt in seawater corrodes our current electrolysis systems.

So any of our current systems used to extract hydrogen from seawater will quickly fail.

This was the problem presented to a team of researchers and scientists working at Stanford University.

After months of research, they've recently announced the development of a device that might solve the problem.

The team layered specialty metals and compounds to create a barrier to slow down corrosion. They tested their device and found that without the metal and compound layering, the water-splitting device would last only about 12 hours. But with the metal and compound coating, the device worked for more than 1,000 hours.

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Stanford's new device probably isn't necessarily gaming changing for the extraction of hydrogen from seawater. But it is a big step forward for this kind of technology, which could be absolutely huge for investors.

If the technology becomes commercially viable, I can easily imagine a multibillion-dollar hydrogen-from-seawater industry popping up overnight.

It has happened before. Alternative energy sources like solar and wind have been known for decades — centuries in some cases. But it has only been in the past 15 or 20 years, with the demand for energy skyrocketing, that they've really found footing in the market.

Hydrogen-from-seawater technology is one that hopes to power our future. These are the kinds of opportunities we want to explore in the ever-changing energy landscape.

Until next time,

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Luke Burgess

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As an editor at Energy and Capital, Luke’s analysis and market research reach hundreds of thousands of investors every day. Luke is also a contributing editor of Angel Publishing’s Bubble and Bust Report newsletter. There, he helps investors in leveraging the future supply-demand imbalance that he believes could be key to a cyclical upswing in the hard asset markets. For more on Luke, go to his editor’s page.

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