Produce hydrogenin a mannerclean, safe and efficient is among the greatest ambitions of the energy sector. Problems related to the use ofhydrogenas a source of energy are many, in addition to difficulties inhydrogen productionthere are also limits in its storage.
With the in-depth studyHow to store hydrogenwe talked about the limits related to diffusion and hydrogen storage in liquid and gas phase while in the articleEnergy from Hydrogenwe discussed all the issues that separate us from onehydrogen productionefficient and clean
The solution for produce hydrogen clean and efficient
An Italian technology, developed by ICCOM-Cnr promises toproduce hydrogenclean with an energy saving of 60% thanks to the use of nanostructured electrodes and ethyl alcohol.
The system was developed by a team from the Institute of Chemistry of Organometallic Compounds ofNational Research Council(Iccom-Cnr) of Florence, directed by Francesco Vizza. The study was published inNature Communicationswith title: "Nanotechnology makes biomass electrolysis more energy efficient than water electrolysis“.
Forproduce hydrogensocleanthe electrolysis of water is exploited, the process in which H2 is torn from the liquid molecule H2O. This process has a high energy cost as it requires high pressure and high safety standards. The innovation of the team headed by Francesco Vizza lies precisely in being able toproduce hydrogenforelectrolysiswithout generating oxygen from an aqueous solution of renewable alcohols such as ethanol, glycerol or other alcohols extracted frombiomass. With the innovative method it is possibleproduce clean hydrogenobtaining an energy saving of 60% compared to the traditional production processelectrolysis of water.
To "tear" hydrogen the water molecule needs less energy if alcohols are present in the reaction.
For the hydrogen productionthe research team has developed a "electrolyser ", the heart of the experiment are the nanostructured electrodes used in a new generation electrolytic cell.
"These are anodic electrocatalysts made up of palladium nanoparticles, deposited on three-dimensional architectures of titanium nanotubes"explains Francesco Vizza "Thanks to which it is possible to create electrolyzers to produce hydrogen from aqueous solutions of alcohols derived from biomass, consuming 18.5 kWh for the production of 1 kg of hydrogen, compared to 45 kWh per 1 kg of hydrogen produced from water alone, a large energy and economic gain. The result far exceeds the recommendations of the Doe, the US Department of Energy which, by 2020, has set a limit of 43 kWh of electricity consumption per kg of hydrogen produced ”.
L'clean hydrogenat low cost, properly stored, could pave the way for the fight against climate change, furthermore this invention sees the production ofby-productsvery interesting: the electrolyser produceshydrogenand compounds useful in the cosmetic and textile industry such as glycerol and ethyl glycol derivatives, useful for the food industry such as acetate from bioethanol and by-products such as lactic acid from propanediol, excellent for the production of biodegradable plastics. Currently theseby-productsthey are obtained only through expensive and polluting industrial processes.
In the photo: electron microscope images of palladium nanoparticles supported on architectures
three-dimensional titanium nanotubes.
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