IIT Delhi generates hydrogen – the clean fuel – from water at low-cost

IIT Delhi generates hydrogen – the clean fuel – from water at low-cost

A steep rise in global energy demand in the 21st century, combined with the necessity to curb greenhouse gas emissions, have driven researchers to look for cleaner and greener energy sources as alternatives.

An IIT Delhi research group under Prof Sreedevi Upadhyayula, Prof Ashok N Bhaskarwar and Prof Anupam Shukla from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Prof Saswata Bhattacharya, Department of Physics, have taken up the research for clean fuel production at low cost. The other team researchers include Mr Shailesh Pathak, Mr Kishore Kondamudi and Ms Shikha Saini.

The study was funded by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Energy Centre (OEC) – India.

In the study, water was successfully split by a Sulphur-Iodine (SI) thermochemical hydrogen cycle to generate low-cost, clean hydrogen fuel for industrial consumption. Hydrogen gas, a viable choice as a renewable substitute for fossil fuels, can help mitigate emissions.

Prof Sreedevi Upadhyayula, during a press conference, said, “There is an imminent need to switch over to renewable energy sources such as water. The thermochemical hydrogen cycle for splitting water offers a practical means of generating hydrogen as a fuel and also oxygen as a by-product. Hence, it can be considered favourably for the commercial production of hydrogen on a large scale, soon.”

One of the challenges in the low-cost conversion taken-up by IIT Delhi was designing a suitable catalyst for the energy-intensive corrosive step of sulphuric acid conversion to sulphur-dioxide and oxygen. The in-house catalyst meets these criteria and is now patented, and a process is developed. The modified iron oxide catalyst dispersed on silica surface on a silicon-carbide support catalyst is cost-effective and functional under high temperature and corrosive reaction conditions. This is recently published in an international journal – Applied Catalysis B: Environmental.

For more information related to the study, kindly write to: sreedevi[at]chemical[dot]iitd[dot]ac[dot]inashoknb[at]chemical[dot]iitd[dot]ac[dot]in, anupam[at]iitd[dot]ac[dot]in, saswata[at]physics[dot]iitd[dot]ac[dot]in

 Integrated closed-loop S-I process for hydrogen production