Green Hydrogen from Seawater Using Catalysts: by UH Researchers - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Green Hydrogen from Seawater Using Catalysts: by UH Researchers

Here’s an article posted in UH Edu

According to the article,

Top management consulting experts for Bio-energy, EV, Solar, Green Hydrogen

  • Seawater electrolysis offers a promising pathway for sustainable hydrogen production.
  • The NiFe-CuCo electrocatalyst developed by researchers from the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston shows high performance in seawater electrolysis, addressing challenges such as catalyst corrosion and chlorine gas formation.
  • The technology has the potential to significantly reduce hydrogen production costs to $1 per kilogram, particularly when coupled with surplus renewable energy sources like solar and wind power.

Additional details about the post:

Seawater electrolysis is a method of producing hydrogen through the electrochemical splitting of water molecules (H2O) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) using an electric current. This process typically requires the use of electrocatalysts to facilitate the reaction at lower energy inputs and to improve efficiency.

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The NiFe-CuCo electrocatalyst, developed by researchers from the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston, is specifically designed to enhance the performance of seawater electrolysis. Here’s how the process works:

  1. Electrolysis Setup: Seawater is pumped into an electrolysis cell, which consists of two electrodes submerged in the seawater solution. These electrodes are typically made of a conductive material such as nickel (Ni) or iron (Fe).
  2. Catalyst Function: The NiFe-CuCo electrocatalyst is applied to the surface of these electrodes. This catalyst plays a crucial role in accelerating the reaction kinetics, reducing the energy required for the electrolysis process, and improving the selectivity of hydrogen evolution over other side reactions.
  3. Electrochemical Reaction: When an electric current is applied across the electrodes, water molecules near the cathode (negative electrode) undergo reduction, where hydrogen ions (H+) are reduced to form hydrogen gas (H2):2H2O +2e → H2 + 2OH −Meanwhile, at the anode (positive electrode), water molecules undergo oxidation, resulting in the formation of oxygen gas (O2):2H2O → O2 + 4H+ + 4e
  4. Challenges Addressed: Seawater electrolysis poses several challenges, including catalyst corrosion and the formation of chlorine gas (Cl2) due to the chloride ions present in seawater. The NiFe-CuCo electrocatalyst helps mitigate these challenges by offering high corrosion resistance and suppressing chlorine gas formation, thus improving the durability and efficiency of the electrolysis process.
  5. Cost Reduction: By using the NiFe-CuCo electrocatalyst in seawater electrolysis, the researchers aim to significantly reduce the production costs of hydrogen. This reduction in cost is particularly promising when coupled with surplus renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. With abundant renewable energy, the electricity needed for electrolysis can be generated at low or zero marginal cost, further driving down the overall cost of hydrogen production.
  6. Potential Cost Target: The goal of achieving hydrogen production costs of $1 per kilogram is ambitious but feasible with advancements in catalyst technology, process optimization, and the integration of renewable energy sources. Achieving this target would make hydrogen economically competitive with traditional fossil fuels and accelerate its adoption as a clean energy carrier.

Interestingly, we have some other posts related to this content:

Hydrogen Production from Seawater: New System by Researchers: Innovative system converts seawater into hydrogen fuel, providing a sustainable energy source and enhancing understanding of seawater ion movement. Double-Membrane Electrolysis: A New Method for Producing Hydrogen Directly from Seawater – A new method called double-membrane electrolysis enables the extraction of hydrogen directly from seawater, operating without creating toxic by-products like bleach and chlorine.

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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