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Hydrogen Production by a Novel Thermochemical Water Splitting Cycle

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Background: Currently hydrogen production is mainly based on steam reforming of methane gas or gasification of coal. These hydrogen production processes require methane or other fossil fuels as feedstock create unwanted carbon dioxide as a process by-product and require the use of capital and energy intensive separation unit operations to purify the hydrogen from undesirable by-products such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Extensive research has been done on identifying reactions that decompose water rather than carbon based fuels. Such sets of reactions are referred to as thermochemical cycles. There have been many attempts to create efficient thermochemical cycles with different catalysts and other reactants. To the best of our knowledge no thermochemical cycle has achieved the efficiency of this invention. Technology Description: UCLA Researchers have developed a thermochemical cycle for decomposing water into hydrogen and oxygen. There are many realizations of this process involving a variety of intermediates. thermal decomposition of water usually requires temperatures greater than 2000C. This novel thermochemical cycle can be operated at a relatively low temperature of ~ 900C. Due to its lower operating temperatures the decomposition can be powered by a variety of energy sources including solar energy. The innovation lies in the optimization of intermediates operating temperatures kinetics heat removal and control of the rate of reaction and electricity cogeneration. Applications: Decomposing water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Benefits:

1) Does not produce harmful by-products 2) Less cost

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