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Nuclear Production of Hydrogen

Fourth Information Exchange Meeting, Oakbrook, Illinois, USA , 14-16 April 2009

image of Nuclear Production of Hydrogen

Hydrogen has the potential to play an important role as a sustainable and environmentally acceptable energy carrier in the 21st century. This report describes the scientific and technical challenges associated with the production of hydrogen using heat and/or electricity from nuclear power plants, with special emphasis on recent developments in high-temperature electrolysis and the use of different chemical thermodynamic processes. Economics and market analysis as well as safety aspects of the nuclear production of hydrogen are also discussed.

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Causes of degradation in a solid oxide electrolysis stack

Nuclear Energy Agency

Steam electrolysis experiments conducted at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have demonstrated an efficient process to generate hydrogen using waste heat and electricity from a nuclear power plant. However, the hydrogen output was observed to decrease significantly over time. Solid oxide stack components from the INL studies were analysed at Argonne National Laboratory to elucidate the degradation mechanisms of electrolysis. After probable regions of degradation were identified by surface techniques, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) were used to further characterise the causes of degradation by examining cross-sections of stack components.

English

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