PhysOrg.com. Solar Hydrogen Energy Corporation (SHEC Labs) reports that it has demonstrated the production of Hydrogen from water using its proprietary Solar Thermal Chemical Process.
Utilizing the hot Arizona sun and a new Solar Concentrator developed by the Lab, the research team was able to extract Hydrogen from water at a temperature of 850 degrees Celsius (1,562° Fahrenheit).
This successful test was the second for SHEC-Labs. In Late May of this year the team produced Hydrogen from Natural Gas using a similar technology. SHEC-Labs is planning additional tests in the next few weeks, using a variety of catalysts and temperatures.
SHEC is developing Thermo Chemical and Solar Electric Hydrogen Processes to extract hydrogen from water using the suns energy. This has the potential for becoming an economical method for the commercial scale production of clean renewable hydrogen. The process relies on a thermal-catalytic cycle which requires heat as an input. Instead of burning fossil fuels to create the necessary process heat (and generating greenhouse gases in the process), SHEC labs intends to employ the heat of the sun by using mirrors to focus sunlight onto a chemical reactor.
Independent engineering companies have verified that SHECs process can produce hydrogen from water at temperatures significantly lower than 1000 degrees Celsius. Direct thermal water splitting in comparison normally requires temperatures of 2,000 degrees Celsius to begin the reaction and 5,000 degrees Celsius to optimize the reaction.
If reproducible, verifiable and scalable, this would be of great benefit. One of the challenges of hydrogen is how to create it without expending great amounts of energy. Direct solar would do very nicely. I wonder about the the nature of the chemical reactor and the possible throughput for this process. How easily might it be distributed?