Washington State University researchers find a new energy-efficient way to produce hydrogen gas from ethanol and water. This method has the potential to make clean hydrogen fuel a more viable alternative for gasoline to power cars.
Researchers used the ethanol and water mixture and a small amount of electricity in a novel conversion system to electrochemically produce pure compressed hydrogen. Carbon dioxide from the reaction is captured in a liquid form.
The innovation means that hydrogen could be made on-site at fueling stations, so only the ethanol solution would have to be transported. It is a major step in eliminating the need to transport high-pressure hydrogen gas, which has been a stumbling block for its use as a clean energy fuel.
Researchers are working to scale up the technology and operate it in a continuous manner as well as working to make use of the carbon dioxide captured in the liquid.
The work was funded by the Gas Technology Institute and the US Department of Energy’s RAPID Manufacturing Institute.