Inorganic chemistry

How can hydrogen be produced?

Hydrogen through reforming


How can hydrogen be produced?

In the universe, hydrogen is found everywhere. On Earth too, but it is rarely pure. In general, it is associated with other elements such as oxygen or carbon. In order for it to be used by the industry, it must be separated from these elements.

First, hydrogen (H), what is it for? Many industries include hydrogen in their processes. The latter thus enters for example in the methods of manufacturing ammonia . It is also used for oil refining , heat treatment of metals ,  glassmaking , etc. In  fuel cells , it is simply one of the fuels, along with oxygen . The hydrogen car uses such batteries, for example.

As for its production, a very large majority of hydrogen produced today is from fossil fuels or wood .

Hydrogen through reforming

Reforming natural gas with superheated steam is a widely used process for producing hydrogen . Under the action of water vapor and heat , the atoms that constitute methane (CH 4 ) separate and rearrange into hydrogen (H 2 ) and carbon dioxide (CO 2 ). somewhere else.

Gasification produces hydrogen

In the gasification process , charcoal is burned in a reactor. At very high temperatures (between 1,200 and 1,500 ° C), the released gases reform to give H 2 and carbon monoxide (CO).

Hydrogen by electrolysis

When electrolysis of water (H 2 O), that is to say it is decomposed with the aid of an electric current , one obtains dioxygen (O 2 ) and H 2 . This process is interesting because it makes it possible to easily obtain a pure hydrogen. But it is far from being economically profitable.

Other ways to produce hydrogen

Research teams are currently studying other production processes. Thus, there are microbes which, when modified and submitted to the light of the sun can produce hydrogen. This is also the case with photoelectrochemical cells, which electrolyze water thanks to the energy received by the sun.

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