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Last updateTue, 16 Apr 2024 10am

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Hydrogen generation by electrolysis of water with low energy consumption and high efficiency

The CSIC and the Polytechnic University of Valencia have developed an electrohydrolysis system to obtain hydrogen with an innovative electrode structure. It maximises the reaction, reducing the voltage required and the energy consumption of the reaction.

Water electrolysis can be used to produce hydrogen while avoiding the generation of polluting by-products.The CSIC and the Polytechnic University of Valencia have developed an electro-hydrolysis system which has an innovative electrode structure that makes it possible to concentrate the electric field in the desired areas to favour the dissociation reaction of the electrolyte, therefore maximising the efficiency of the reaction and reducing the necessary voltage and the energy consumption of the reaction.

Now the team is seeking for companies interested in licensing the patent for application in industrial electrochemical processes or hydrogen generation by electro-hydrolysis are sought.

Electro-hydrolysis is currently the most widely used method for obtaining hydrogen, considered to be the fuel of the future as it does not generate CO2 during combustion.

Electro-hydrolysis consists of the separation of water into its elements, hydrogen and oxygen, when an external electric current (electricity from renewables) is applied.

It is a process that is still expensive because of the amount of energy it requires and because it is not efficient enough. To favour the energy transition, methods are needed to maximise efficiency and minimise the production cost of obtaining hydrogen.

The required voltage is reduced and the electrohydrolysis reaction is favoured. Also, smaller or thinner electrodes can be used without any problem of robustness or mechanical resistance

Scientists from CSIC and the Polytechnic University of Valencia have designed a new way of structuring the electrodes that maximises the concentration of the electric field in the regions of interest, beyond the surface of the electrodes. With this solution, the required voltage is reduced and the electrohydrolysis reaction is favoured. At the same time, smaller or thinner electrodes can be used without any problem of robustness or mechanical resistance of the electrodes.

Moreover, the proposed method is sufficiently versatile so that it can be adapted to different ways of arranging the electrodes, depending on the specific needs of each case. The main field of application is the electro-hydrolysis of water for the generation of hydrogen gas, which can be used as a clean fuel without CO2 emissions. However, other uses are possible, such as deposition of atoms on surfaces or layers, electrochemical reduction of CO2 in methanol, or chemical synthesis of different molecules.

Contact:

Marc Escamilla
Vicepresidencia Adjunta de
Transferencia del Conocimiento - CSIC
Tel.: 96 161 29 95
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