A team of scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory earlier this month reached a major milestone with the successful production of hydrogen through High-Temperature Electrolysis (HTE).
The milestone was reached when the Integrated Laboratory Scale experiment started producing hydrogen at a rate of 5.6 cubic meters per hour.
The achievement was recognized at a media event in Idaho Falls Sept. 18.
"This is by far the biggest achievement we've had," said Carl Stoots, the experiment's principal investigator.
High-Temperature Electrolysis is a system of producing hydrogen very efficiently by using technology originally developed for solid oxide fuel cells. HTE is a significant improvement over the more conventional methods to produce hydrogen. HTE uses an electric current through water to separate it into hydrogen and oxygen. Combined with a clean power source such as a next-generation nuclear plant, HTE could produce hydrogen at 45 to 55 percent efficiency.
Some idle thoughts. I wonder what the drawbacks would be to attach this sort of set-up to most of our nuclear reactors would be? 5.6 cubic meters/hour is not that impressive, but it is a scale up from the previous lab tests. I wonder what the limits are?