With the increasing need for a clean environment with low pollution and emissions, a strategic change in the methods of generating power is required, which do not involve the simple burning of hydrocarbon based fuels. Faced with this requirement, and increasing carbon dioxide release and the eventual longer term reduced availability of oil and natural gas, alternative sources of fuels are needed. Such fuels may be produced by a range of technologies but a major source can come from an established technology based on electrolysis of water. This electrolysis of water creates hydrogen gas, which is a fuel with important characteristics of high energy density storage and high reactivity. Hydrogen can be used as an intermediate storage of energy, which can be used in transportation applications, e.g. electrically powered cars, and large scale power generation. The electrolysis of water also has the advantage that it is one of the few established routes that can use a renewable or sustainable energy source; i.e. from wind, solar or hydroelectric power.
This book provides a comprehensive picture of the various routes to use electricity to produce hydrogen using electrochemical science and technology. Increased hydrogen supplies using cleaner methods are seen as essential for a potential hydrogen based power and energy economy for transportation and renewable energy conversion into fuel.
Covering the various aspects of this fast-evolving areas of hydrogen production and use, this book includes the fundamentals of electrochemical cells and performance characterisation and a comparison of current applications, while focusing on the latest achievements and future directions.
The book describes the various types of electrolysers currently used commercially, i.e. proton exchange electrolyte membrane and liquid alkaline electrolysers. Current manufacturers and the main features of commercially available electrolysers are reviewed. The book also describes newer emerging technologies based on high temperature solid oxide electrolysers, low temperature alkaline membrane electrolysers and intermediate temperature membrane electrolysers. Alternative electrolysis routes from which hydrogen is produced are described including, electro-reforming of alcohols, various electrochemical syntheses, e.g. the chlor alkali industry and the more novel technology of unitised fuel cells, which function both as electrolysers and power generators.
The final chapter considers socio economic aspects of hydrogen generation related to, for example, the possible configurations for integrating water electrolysis units with renewable energy sources in both autonomous and grid-connected systems; giving examples of relevant demonstration projects.
This book will be a valuable source of information on electrolyser technologies for hydrogen production and electrochemical science and engineering. It is suitable for both undergraduate and postgraduate students in science and engineering and to industrial practitioners in the field. It also will act as a source of information on the requirements and challenges faced in establishing hydrogen economy systems.