Green Car Congress  
Home Topics Archives About Contact  RSS Headlines

« Indian Oil and Auto Companies Working On Hydrogen-CNG Vehicles | Main | Shell to Take 61% Stake in China Oil Shale Venture »

Print this post

DOE Funds SRI International to Develop Steam Electrolysis System

31 August 2005

SRI’s Experimental Steam Electrolysis System

The DOE has awarded SRI International, an independent nonprofit research and development organization, a four-year, $2.2 million contract to develop a prototype of a low-cost steam-electrolysis system for the generation of hydrogen.

The project goal is to generate ultra-pure hydrogen at a cost of $2 to $3 per gallon gasoline equivalent (gge) delivered. The current cost of hydrogen by electrolysis is some $4.75 to $5.15 per gge (delivered) on average, according to the DOE.

Conventional electrolysis uses electrical current to split water into hydrogen at the cathode (+) and oxygen at the anode (-). Steam electrolysis uses heat to provide some of the energy needed to split water.

The basic approach of the proposed system is as follows:

  • Decompose water electrochemically into H2 and O2 on the cathode side of a high-temperature electrolyzer.

  • Oxygen ions will migrate through an oxygen-ion-conductive solid oxide electrolyte.

  • Gas mixtures on the cathode side (H2+ H2O) and on the anode side (CO + CO2) will be reliably separated by the solid electrolyte.

  • Depolarization of the anodic process will decrease the electrolysis voltage 5-10 times, and thus the electricity required for H2 generation and the cost of produced H2.

The SRI team expects energy efficiencies of 60%–70% with respect to primary energy consumption and 75%–90% with respect to total energy into the electrolyzer. Total expected energy consumption for the high-temperature steam electrolyzer is around 6–8 kWh/kg H2.

SRI’s modular system design will allow scaling up and customization to meet a variety of site-specific needs. Deploying the system at locations where waste heat is available would reduce the electricity required for heating the system, and thus make it even more attractive.

The SRI project was one of eight Electrolysis posters delivered at the DOE 2005 Annual Merit Review held in May.


August 31, 2005 in Hydrogen, Research | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference DOE Funds SRI International to Develop Steam Electrolysis System:


Not a carbon free system.

steam generation info

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Green Car Congress © 2017 BioAge Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Home | BioAge Group