Generating Hydrogen Fuel from Seawater Using Solar Power - Stanford's Innovation - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Generating Hydrogen Fuel from Seawater Using Solar Power – Stanford’s Innovation

Here’s an article posted in Stanford News.

According to the article,

  • Stanford researchers have developed a groundbreaking method to generate hydrogen fuel from seawater using solar power, electrodes, and saltwater from San Francisco Bay.
  • This innovation presents an alternative to fossil fuels by harnessing the Earth’s most abundant source of water for chemical energy.

Stanford’s innovation in generating hydrogen fuel from seawater using solar power is an exciting development in renewable energy technology. The process, known as solar-driven water electrolysis, involves splitting water molecules (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) using electricity generated by solar panels. Here’s an elaborate explanation of the process:

  1. Solar Panels: The process begins with the installation of solar panels, typically on floating platforms placed on the surface of seawater. These solar panels capture sunlight and convert it into electricity through the photovoltaic effect.
  2. Electrolysis: The electricity generated by the solar panels is then directed to an electrolyzer, which is a device containing two electrodes (an anode and a cathode) immersed in a conductive solution, in this case, seawater.
  3. Anode Reaction: At the anode (positive electrode), oxidation occurs. Specifically, chloride ions (Cl-) present in seawater are oxidized to form chlorine gas (Cl2). The reaction can be represented as:2Cl- -> Cl2 + 2e-
  4. Cathode Reaction: At the cathode (negative electrode), reduction occurs. Water molecules are reduced to form hydrogen gas (H2) and hydroxide ions (OH-). The reaction can be represented as:2H2O + 2e- -> H2 + 2OH-
  5. Overall Reaction: The overall reaction of the electrolysis process is the combination of the anode and cathode reactions, resulting in the production of hydrogen gas and oxygen gas:2H2O -> 2H2 + O2
  6. Separation and Collection: The hydrogen and oxygen gases produced during electrolysis are then separated and collected. Typically, this is achieved by passing the gases through a membrane that selectively allows only hydrogen to pass through, leaving oxygen behind.
  7. Storage and Utilization: Finally, the collected hydrogen gas can be stored for later use as a clean fuel source. It can be stored in tanks or used immediately to power fuel cells, which produce electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen.

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Green Hydrogen Shipping Fuel Project Abandoned by Equinor, Air Liquide, and Eviny: Norwegian project to produce liquified hydrogen for shipping, aiming for six tons daily, abandoned due to challenges in marine fueling. Solar-Powered Hydrogen Generation from Seawater: by IIT Madras: Researchers develop system producing 100 liters/day of hydrogen from seawater, sufficient to power a small car for 100 km, using solar energy and catalyst.

About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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