Webinar: Hydrogen Production using Solar Energy

20th January 2015

Comparing ‘electrolyser–powered–by–photo–voltaics ’and ‘photo–electrochemical’ systems for H2 production by splitting H2O with solar energy

Combustion of hydrogen produces only water, making it an attractive energy carrier for the future, providing it can be produced by routes other than by reforming natural gas, the present predominant industrial route, as it emits carbon dioxide. Is it feasible to use solar energy to generate hydrogen in the UK? What technologies can enable this presently? How much hydrogen may be produced and how could it be used? These and other questions relating to the expansion of solar energy use in the UK will be addressed in this webinar.

Hydrogen can be produced from solar energy today by coupling photo-voltaic devices, which convert solar to electrical energy, with electrolysers that use this electrical energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. However, does the use of land for photo-voltaic arrays for hydrogen production by this means justify the rates at which it can be generated realistically?

Photo-electrochemical systems are a potential alternative to the existing technologies, combining photon-to-electron and electron-to-hydrogen conversions in a single device, but are still the subject of research and are not available industrially. Are they worth waiting for?

The webinar recording is available to watch here (please note the recording begins at 0:28; there are two interruptions to the recording at 01:53-02:52 and 39:21-45:09).  The slides are available to download here.

Many thanks to the Knowledge Transfer Network for hosting this webinar.

Department of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
Lensfield Road, Cambridge

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