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Hydrogen Production from Seawater Without Desalination : by Chinese Scientists

Here’s an article posted in Interesting Engineering.

According to the article,

  • Chinese scientists have developed a process to produce hydrogen from seawater without desalination.
  • This breakthrough could revolutionize the hydrogen industry and reduce the cost of producing hydrogen.
  • The process involves using a new type of catalyst that can split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen without the need for desalination.

Here’s a breakdown of the process along with specific data points:

  1. Seawater Electrolysis: Electrolysis is the process of using an electric current to drive a non-spontaneous chemical reaction. In this case, seawater is the electrolyte, and it undergoes electrolysis to produce hydrogen and oxygen gases. Seawater is abundant and easily accessible, making it an attractive resource for hydrogen production.
  2. Innovative Technology: The Chinese team utilized an innovative new hydrogen production technology process that enhances electrolysis efficiency and equipment lifespan. This technology was detailed in a peer-reviewed journal, Nature, in November 2022.
  3. Offshore Platform: The hydrogen production takes place on an offshore platform named “Dongfu Number One,” located off the coast of Fujian province in southeastern China. This platform is designed to withstand high waves and gusts, ensuring stable operation in challenging marine conditions.
  4. Renewable Energy Sources: The entire process is powered by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. This ensures that the production of hydrogen is environmentally friendly and sustainable.
  5. Integration of Systems: The platform incorporates a hydrogen production system with a stable offshore wind power supply system. This integration ensures a continuous and reliable source of energy for electrolysis.
  6. Ion Rejection Rate: After ten days of operation in seawater, the system maintained an impressive ion rejection rate of over 99.99%. This indicates the efficiency of the electrolysis process in separating hydrogen and oxygen from seawater.
  7. Purity of Hydrogen: The hydrogen produced by the system is at least 99.9% pure. This high purity makes it suitable for various industrial applications, including energy production.
  8. Cost-effectiveness: The process eliminates the need for desalination, reducing production costs significantly. The estimated cost of producing hydrogen using this method is around 11.2 yuan (US$1.57) per kilogram, making it much cheaper than current mainstream methods using natural gas.
  9. Future Development: The research team aims to further optimize the hydrogen production system to withstand interference and promote its industrialization with global companies. This indicates a commitment to scaling up the technology for widespread use.

Overall, the process of turning seawater into oxygen and hydrogen represents a promising advancement in hydrogen production technology, offering a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for meeting energy needs.

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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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