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.



Heat pump cycle by hydrogen-absorbing alloys to assist high-temperature gas-cooled reactor in producing hydrogen

Nuclear Energy Agency

A chemical heat pump system using two hydrogen-absorbing alloys is proposed to utilise heat exhausted from a high-temperature source such as a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR), more efficiently. The heat pump system is designed to produce H2 based on the S-I cycle more efficiently. The overall system proposed here consists of HTGR, He gas turbines, chemical heat pumps and reaction vessels corresponding to the three-step decomposition reactions comprised in the S-I process. A fundamental research is experimentally performed on heat generation in a single bed packed with a hydrogen-absorbing alloy that may work at the H2 production temperature. The hydrogen-absorbing alloy of Zr(V1-XFeX)2 is selected as a material that has a proper plateau pressure for the heat pump system operated between the input and output temperatures of HTGR and reaction vessels of the S-I cycle. Temperature jump due to heat generated when the alloy absorbs H2 proves that the alloy–H2 system can heat up the exhaust gas even at 600°C without any external mechanical force.


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