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Variable input hydrogen & oxygen production from renewable energy - WP4

To reduce industrial carbon emissions it is possible to better utilise renewable energy inputs to offset the use of traditional carbonaceous fuels.

Electrolysis of water can be used to store renewable energy by converting water into it’s constituent parts Hydrogen and Oxygen. The hydrogen and oxygen can then be recombined to return the energy when it is desired.  The ability to split water from electricity is not particularly new and will have been experienced by everyone doing GCSE chemistry however doing so efficiently is quite a challenge.  Engineering devices that are able to handle extremely variable inputs and operate under industrial conditions is a challenge.

Electrolysis of water utilising low cost and environmentally benign parts allows for economical energy storage and also opens the door to potential forms of otherwise wasted energy such as industrial waste heat. Link to WP 6.

WP4 will set up a newly designed electrolysis unit for testing under industrial conditions producing both hydrogen and oxygen that can be used on the site. Initially the hydrogen will be used to offset natural gas in the combustion processes used on the CAPL line, but could potentially be used for a myriad of possible applications. Hydrogen is able to meet all of our energy requirements domestic, commercial and locomotive and given a low-cost abundant supply could become the primary energy carrier allowing an easy transition to a 100% renewable energy landscape. The oxygen also has use in that it can be fed into the combustion process to improve combustion efficiency. The oxygen also has uses in steelmaking and water processing activities.

We are looking for additional industry partners to create bespoke solution and academic and SME with energy problems that can could potentially use hydrogen as a solution and be tested under real-world conditions.

Work package 4 is led by Dr Charlie Dunnill

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