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Comparative Environmental Impact Assessment of Nuclear-Based Hydrogen Production via Mg–Cl and Cu–Cl Thermochemical Water Splitting Cycles

  • Ahmet OzbilenEmail author
  • Ibrahim Dincer
  • Marc A. Rosen
Chapter

Abstract

The environmental impacts of nuclear-based hydrogen production processes are evaluated and compared, considering magnesium–chlorine (Mg–Cl) and copper–chlorine (Cu–Cl) thermochemical water decomposition cycles and using life cycle analysis. Variations of environmental impacts (acidification potential and global warming potential) with hydrogen production plant lifetime are reported. An artificial neural network model is used to develop the results. Relations between environmental impacts and economic factors are also presented using the social cost of carbon concept. The results show that the Cu–Cl thermochemical cycle has lower acidification and global warming potentials per unit mass of hydrogen produced compared to the Mg–Cl thermochemical cycle due to its lower electrical work requirement.

Keywords

Hydrogen production Thermochemical water splitting Copper–chlorine cycle Magnesium–chlorine cycle Life cycle assessment Artificial neural network Environmental impact assessment Nuclear Mg–Cl Thermochemical water splitting cycle Life cycle analysis Acidification potential Global warming potential Artificial neural network model Economic factors Acidification Global warming potential 

Nomenclature

Wn

Weights of ANN

xn

Inputs of ANN

yn

Outputs of ANN

Greek Symbols

α

Activation function

Σ

Summation function

Acronyms

ANN

Artificial neural network

AP

Acidification potential

AECL

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

CML

The Center of Environmental Science of Leiden University

DC

Direct current

GHG

Greenhouse gas

GWP

Global warming potential

HTE

High temperature electrolysis

ISO

International Organization for Standardization

LCA

Life cycle assessment

LCI

Life cycle inventory

LCIA

Life cycle impact assessment

PEM

Proton exchange membrane

SCC

Social cost of carbon

SCWR

Super-critical water cooled reactor

SOEP

Solid oxide electrolysis cell

TC

Thermochemical cycle

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering and Applied ScienceUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada

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