Converting temperature fluctuations into clean energy with novel nanoparticles and heating strategy

Pyroelectric catalysis (pyro-catalysis) can convert environmental temperature fluctuations into clean chemical energy, like hydrogen. However, compared with the more common catalysis strategy, such as photocatalysis, pyro-catalysis is inefficient due to slow temperature changes in the ambient environment. Recently, a team has triggered a significantly faster and more efficient pyro-catalytic reaction using localized plasmonic heat sources to rapidly and efficiently heat up the pyro-catalytic material and allow it to cool down. The findings open up new avenues for efficient catalysis for biological applications, pollutant treatment and clean energy production.

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