Economic hydrogen production is possible using nuclear plants
It has been decades since technology to produce hydrogen fuel, which can replace diesel, gasoline and other fossil fuels, is available. Recently, as per a report of a scientist now it’s time when commercial production of hydrogen fuel will begin and the concerns regarding air pollution and foreign oil will be eased.
Ibrahim Khamis, Ph.D, who is with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, addressing 243rd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, explained how hydrogen can be produced economically by using the heat of existing nuclear plants, with future plants custom-built for hydrogen production. According to Khamis, to produce hydrogen using nuclear power plant as a source of heat is a global interest that is growing rapidly. Producing hydrogen would reduce the dependence on coal for electricity generation and the oil for powering motor vehicles. Above all, it would be beneficial to the environment reducing global warming because the only water vapor is released when hydrogen is burned. Pollution will be dramatically reduced as carbon dioxide the main greenhouse gas will not be emitted. Khamis also stated that at IAEA and around the world, economists and scientists are working rigorously to find out how 435 current, worldwide, operational nuclear power reactors and the one to be set up in future can be enlisted in producing hydrogen.
At present the most of the hydrogen is produced from coal or natural gas that results in emitting carbon dioxide. On a very small scale hydrogen is produced by electrolysis. Nuclear power plants are ideal because heat is produced by them to turn water into steam and electricity to further break down the steam into oxygen and hydrogen. The plants that will be specially designed for producing hydrogen in future will either be joined to thermochemical processes that are presently under research and development or high temperature electrolysis process that is more efficient will be used.