Science Current Events | Science News |

Nuclear power plants can produce hydrogen to fuel the 'hydrogen economy'

March 26, 2012

The long-sought technology for enabling the fabled "hydrogen economy" - an era based on hydrogen fuel that replaces gasoline, diesel and other fossil fuels, easing concerns about foreign oil and air pollution - has been available for decades and could begin commercial production of hydrogen in this decade, a scientist reported here today.

Speaking at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, Ibrahim Khamis, Ph.D., described how heat from existing nuclear plants could be used in the more economical production of hydrogen, with future plants custom-built for hydrogen production. He is with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.

"There is rapidly growing interest around the world in hydrogen production using nuclear power plants as heat sources," Khamis said. "Hydrogen production using nuclear energy could reduce dependence on oil for fueling motor vehicles and the use of coal for generating electricity. In doing so, hydrogen could have a beneficial impact on global warming, since burning hydrogen releases only water vapor and no carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. There is a dramatic reduction in pollution."

Khamis said scientists and economists at IAEA and elsewhere are working intensively to determine how current nuclear power reactors - 435 are operational worldwide - and future nuclear power reactors could be enlisted in hydrogen production.

Most hydrogen production at present comes from natural gas or coal and results in releases of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. On a much smaller scale, some production comes from a cleaner process called electrolysis, in which an electric current flowing through water splits the H2O molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. This process, termed electrolysis, is more efficient and less expensive if water is first heated to form steam, with the electric current passed through the steam.

Khamis said that nuclear power plants are ideal for hydrogen production because they already produce the heat for changing water into steam and the electricity for breaking the steam down into hydrogen and oxygen. Experts envision the current generation of nuclear power plants using a low-temperature electrolysis which can take advantage of low electricity prices during the plant's off-peak hours to produce hydrogen. Future plants, designed specifically for hydrogen production, would use a more efficient high-temperature electrolysis process or be coupled to thermochemical processes, which are currently under research and development.

"Nuclear hydrogen from electrolysis of water or steam is a reality now, yet the economics need to be improved," said Khamis. He noted that some countries are considering construction of new nuclear plants coupled with high-temperature steam electrolysis (HTSE) stations that would allow them to generate hydrogen gas on a large scale in anticipation of growing economic opportunities.

Khamis described how IAEA's Hydrogen Economic Evaluation Programme (HEEP) is helping. IAEA has designed its HEEP software to help its member states take advantage of nuclear energy's potential to generate hydrogen gas. The software assesses the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen production under a wide variety of circumstances.

American Chemical Society

Related Hydrogen Production Current Events and Hydrogen Production News Articles

Carbon leads the way in clean energy
Groundbreaking research at Griffith University is leading the way in clean energy, with the use of carbon as a way to deliver energy using hydrogen.

An alternative to platinum: Iron-nitrogen compounds as catalysts in graphene
Fuel cells convert the chemical energy stored in hydrogen (H2) into electrical energy by electrochemically "combusting" hydrogen gas with oxygen (O2) from the air into water (H2O), thereby generating electricity.

Fuel cell advance
"Planes, Trains and Automobiles" is a popular comedy from the 1980s, but there's nothing funny about the amount of energy consumed by our nation's transportation sector.

IU scientists create 'nano-reactor' for the production of hydrogen biofuel
Scientists at Indiana University have created a highly efficient biomaterial that catalyzes the formation of hydrogen -- one half of the "holy grail" of splitting H2O to make hydrogen and oxygen for fueling cheap and efficient cars that run on water.

'Hydricity' concept uses solar energy to produce power round-the-clock
Researchers are proposing a new "hydricity" concept aimed at creating a sustainable economy by not only generating electricity with solar energy but also producing and storing hydrogen from superheated water for round-the-clock power production.

NREL research advances understanding of photoelectrodes
Scientists at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a new probe that could lead to a better photoelectrochemical cell.

Crack it! Energy from a fossil fuel without carbon dioxide
The production of energy from natural gas without generating carbon dioxide emissions could fast become a reality, thanks to a novel technology developed by researchers of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

Dirt-cheap catalyst may lower fuel costs for hydrogen-powered cars
-Sandia National Laboratories researchers seeking to make hydrogen a less expensive fuel for cars have upgraded a catalyst nearly as cheap as dirt -- molybdenum disulfide, "molly" for short -- to stand in for platinum, a rare element with the moonlike price of $1,500 a gram.

Making hydrogen fuel from water and visible light highly efficient
Mimicking photosynthesis is not easy. The bottleneck of artificial photosynthesis is visible light as converting it into other energy is not efficient.

New method can make cheaper solar energy storage
Storing solar energy as hydrogen is a promising way for developing comprehensive renewable energy systems.
More Hydrogen Production Current Events and Hydrogen Production News Articles

Hydrogen production with offshore wind and sea water electrolysis: Capitalizing Norways offshore wind potential

Hydrogen production with offshore wind and sea water electrolysis: Capitalizing Norways offshore wind potential
by Konrad Meier (Author)

Jules Verne, The Mysterious Island, 1874: "Yes, my friends, I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity of which coal is not capable." -- -- -- -- What if there was a way to capitalize Norways offshore wind potential while becoming one of the largest producers of the fuel of the future - hydrogen? This study elaborates the idea of offshore hydrogen production platforms that could be used to produce hydrogen from offshore wind. Norway is one of the largest producers of fossil fuels and a clean energy pioneer. As the Norwegian energy demand can be covered with hydropower, there is no need to capitalize offshore wind potentials - unless...

Hydrogen Production: by Electrolysis

Hydrogen Production: by Electrolysis
by Agata Godula-Jopek (Editor), Detlef Stolten (Editor)

Covering the various aspects of this fast-evolving field, this comprehensive book includes the fundamentals and a comparison of current applications, while focusing on the latest, novel achievements and future directions.
The introductory chapters explore the thermodynamic and electrochemical processes to better understand how electrolysis cells work, and how these can be combined to build large electrolysis modules. The book then goes on to discuss the electrolysis process and the characteristics, advantages, drawbacks, and challenges of the main existing electrolysis technologies. Current manufacturers and the main features of commercially available electrolyzers are extensively reviewed. The final chapters then present the possible configurations for integrating water electrolysis...

Build A Solar Hydrogen Fuel Cell System

Build A Solar Hydrogen Fuel Cell System
by Phillip Hurley (Author)

Learn how to construct and operate the components of a solar hydrogen fuel cell system: the fuel cell stack, the electrolyzer to generate hydrogen fuel, simple hydrogen storage, and solar panels designed specifically to run electrolyzers for hydrogen production. Complete, clear, illustrated instructions to build all the major components make it easy for the non-engineer to understand and work with this important new technology. Featured are the author's innovative and practical designs for efficient solar powered hydrogen production including: ESPMs (Electrolyzer Specific Photovoltaic Modules) – 40 watt solar panels designed specifically to run electrolyzers efficiently; a 40-80 watt electrolyzer for intermittant power from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind; and, a 6-12...

Hydrogen Fuel: Production, Transport, and Storage

Hydrogen Fuel: Production, Transport, and Storage
by Ram B. Gupta (Editor)

From Methane to Hydrogen―Making the Switch to a Cleaner Fuel Source The world’s overdependence on fossil fuels has created environmental problems, such as air pollution and global warming, as well as political and economic unrest. With water as its only by-product and its availability in all parts of the world, hydrogen promises to be the next great fuel source. All of the Key Aspects of Hydrogen Fuel Hydrogen Fuel: Production, Transport, and Storage describes various aspects of hydrogen fuel, including production from both renewable and nonrenewable sources, purification, storage, transport, safety, codes, and carbon dioxide sequestration. The book examines the unique properties and uses of the hydrogen molecule, its ability to be produced from numerous energy sources, and its...

Hydrogen and Syngas Production and Purification Technologies

Hydrogen and Syngas Production and Purification Technologies
by Ke Liu (Author), Chunshan Song (Author), Velu Subramani (Author)

Covers the timely topic of fuel cells and hydrogen-based energy from its fundamentals to practical applications Serves as a resource for practicing researchers and as a text in graduate-level programs Tackles crucial aspects in light of the new directions in the energy industry, in particular how to integrate fuel processing into contemporary systems like nuclear and gas power plants Includes homework-style problems

Solar Based Hydrogen Production Systems (SpringerBriefs in Energy)

Solar Based Hydrogen Production Systems (SpringerBriefs in Energy)
by Ibrahim Dincer (Author), Anand S. Joshi (Author)

This book provides a comprehensive analysis of various solar based hydrogen production systems. The book covers first-law (energy based) and second-law (exergy based) efficiencies and provides a comprehensive understanding of their implications. It will help minimize the widespread misuse of efficiencies among students and researchers in energy field by using an intuitive and unified approach for defining efficiencies. The book gives a clear understanding of the sustainability and environmental impact analysis of the above systems. The book will be particularly useful for a clear understanding of second law (exergy) efficiencies for various systems. It may serve as a reference book to the researchers in energy field. The definitions and concepts developed in the book will be explained...

21st Century Complete Guide to Hydrogen Power and Fuel Cell Cars: FreedomCAR Plans, Automotive Technology for Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Production, Storage, Safety Standards, Energy Depart

21st Century Complete Guide to Hydrogen Power and Fuel Cell Cars: FreedomCAR Plans, Automotive Technology for Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Production, Storage, Safety Standards, Energy Depart
by World Spaceflight News (Author)

This comprehensive set of two CD-ROMs provides a thorough collection of documents covering research into using hydrogen as a fuel and developing automobiles powered by hydrogen fuel cells. There is extensive material from the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and NASA. Hydrogen and fuel cells have the potential to solve several major challenges facing America today: dependence on petroleum imports, poor air quality, and greenhouse gas emissions. The Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Technologies Program at the U.S. Department of Energy is working with partners to accelerate the development and successful market introduction of these technologies. Hydrogen is a clean and sustainable form of energy that can be used in mobile and stationary applications. Fuel cells harness...

Renewable Hydrogen Technologies: Production, Purification, Storage, Applications and Safety

Renewable Hydrogen Technologies: Production, Purification, Storage, Applications and Safety
by Luis M Gandia (Editor), Gurutze Arzamedi (Editor), Pedro M Dieguez (Editor)

The fields covered by the hydrogen energy topic have grown rapidly, and now it has become clearly multidisciplinary. In addition to production, hydrogen purification and especially storage are key challenges that could limit the use of hydrogen fuel. In this book, the purification of hydrogen with membrane technology and its storage in "solid" form using new hydrides and carbon materials are addressed. Other novelties of this volume include the power conditioning of water electrolyzers, the integration in the electric grid of renewable hydrogen systems and the future role of microreactors and micro-process engineering in hydrogen technology as well as the potential of computational fluid dynamics to hydrogen equipment design and the assessment of safety issues. Finally, and being aware...

PEM Electrolysis for Hydrogen Production: Principles and Applications

PEM Electrolysis for Hydrogen Production: Principles and Applications
by Dmitri Bessarabov (Editor), Haijiang Wang (Editor), Hui Li (Editor), Nana Zhao (Editor)

An ever-increasing dependence on green energy has brought on a renewed interest in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis as a viable solution for hydrogen production. While alkaline water electrolyzers have been used in the production of hydrogen for many years, there are certain advantages associated with PEM electrolysis and its relevance to renewable energy sources. PEM Electrolysis for Hydrogen Production: Principles and Applications discusses the advantages of PEM electrolyzers over alkaline electrolyzers, presents the recent advances of hydrogen PEM fuel cells accelerating the large-scale commercialization of PEM electrolysis, and considers the challenges that must be addressed before PEM electrolysis can become a commercially feasible option. Written by international...

Hydrogen Generator Gas for Vehicles and Engines: Hydrogen Production from Organic Material

Hydrogen Generator Gas for Vehicles and Engines: Hydrogen Production from Organic Material
by Samuel Wyer (Author)

Provides you with the fundamental knowledge upon which any rational discussion about Hydrogen Science must be based. Contains information on the physics and applied chemistry that make up the foundation of hydrogen based energy production. This book was written by a great man named Samuel S. Wyer. We have republished his work, A Treatise on Producer-Gas and Gas-Producers as, Hydrogen Production from Organic Material by Partial Oxidation and Steam Reformation.

© 2017