Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert A. Meyers

Hydrogen Production Science and Technology

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0851-3_755


Hydrogen is a widely produced and used commodity, now being considered for use as an energy carrier for stationary power and transportation markets. Tens of millions of tonnes of hydrogen are produced each year globally. Major uses of the commercial hydrogen produced currently are for oil refining, where hydrogen is used for “hydrotreating” of crude oil as part of the refining process to improve the hydrogen-to-carbon ratio of the fuel, food production (“hydrogenation”), treating metals, and producing ammonia for fertilizer and other industrial uses. There are many means of hydrogen production, from established ones such as steam methane reforming and grid-powered electrolysis to others that are becoming commercially viable and still others that are emerging or being tested in laboratories. Options include various pathways using biogas using gasification or pyrolysis processes, along with newly developed electrochemical and thermochemical processes including using microbial electrolysis cells as well as tailored molecules that can facilitate the splitting of water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen with lower energy requirements than conventional electrolysis. This chapter reviews the state of the art of hydrogen production science and technology and identifies key obstacles associated with various pathways where they still exist.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Transportation StudiesUniversity of California – BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA