Research by the University of Newcastle has highlighted progression in the production of green hydrogen.

The first thermodynamically-reversible chemical reactor, developed by university researchers, is capable of producing hydrogen as a pure product stream, representing a step forward for the chemical industry.

The reactor avoids mixing reactant gases by transferring oxygen between reactant streams via a solid-state oxygen reservoir.

Hydrogen produced as a pure product stream is the end product, eliminating the need for separation of the final products.

The system also prevents carbon being carried into the hydrogen production stream as carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide, avoiding contaminating the product.

“Chemical changes are usually performed via mixed reactions whereby multiple reactants are mixed together and heated,” said Professor Ian Metcalfe, lead author and Professor of Chemical Engineering at Newcastle University.

“But this leads to losses, incomplete conversion of reactants and a final mixture of products that need to be separated.”

“With our hydrogen memory reactor, we can produce pure, separated products. You could call it the perfect reactor.”

“Whereas conventional hydrogen production requires two reactors and a separation, our reactor accomplishes all steps in one unit.”

“And while we demonstrate the concept with hydrogen, the memory reactor concept may also be applied to other processes.”

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