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Hydrogen production and safety promotion by innovative processes

Objective

Hydrogen is one of the possible future energy carriers to replace fossil fuels. For this to become a reality there are two main issues to be solved. First, hydrogen should be produced from clean and renewable ressources. Second, safety issues related to hydrogen should be fully assessed and mastered. Hydrogen is a very special fuel so that its leakage and formation of an explosive mixture propensity is very high. This risk exists for all the segments of the hydrogen cycle, i.e. production, storage, transport and conversion to energy. Therefore, hydrogen safety is an issue to be fully mastered before any large scale use of hydrogen becomes socially acceptable. The present project addresses these two issues, taking advantage of the extremely complementray expertises of the participating teams, 3 from Russia, 2 from Italy and 2 from France. The proposed plasma technologies (gliding discharges, pulsed nanosecond high voltage discharges, dielectric-barrier discharges coupled with magnetic forces) are all aiming in this direction: to increase the conversion efficiency of hydrocarbons to hydrogen by using less energy intensive techniques. For the long term perspective, photo-assisted (or solar radiation assisted) electrolysis of water for hydrogen generation is certainly the "royal" route to hydrogen. The approach adopted here is to increase the efficiency of photoelectrocatalysis of water by synthesising photoanode nanomaterials, such as TiO2. Flame processes will be used to synthesise titania nanoparticles. A photoelectrochemical cell will be developed to optimize the hydrogen generation conditions for water splitting using solar radiation. The safety aspect of hydrogen processes will be jointly investigated by Russian and French teams. The Russian teams have developed since several years the best expertise in the world on the analysis and modelling of the chemical mechanisms leading to the ignition and detonation of hydrogen air. The 5 tasks of the project are the following: Task 1: Optimization of hydrocarbon steam reforming and oxygen assisted steam reforming in non-equilibrium sliding discharge plasma reactors Task 2: Optimization of hydrocarbon cracking by dielectric-barrier discharges Task 3: Optimization of hydrogen production from gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons using nanosecond pulsed high voltage discharges Task 4: Optimization of photo-assisted electrolysis of water for hydrogen production Task 5: Optimization of safety conditions for hydrogen mixtures by preventing their detonation propensity The present project is a joint effort between Russian, Italian and French teams to advance on the basic knowledge accumulation of hydrogen generation by efficient, clean and safe technologies. It is worth to note that specialists of reactive systems, plasma physics, combustion, detonation and safety will work together in this truly interdisciplinary project to contribute to long term solutions for the energy question in Europe.

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Coordinator

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE (CNRS)

Address

Avenue De La Recherche Scientifique, 3e
OrlÉAns

France

Administrative Contact

Iskender GOKALP

Participants (6)

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ALL-RUSSIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR FIRE PROTECTION

Russia

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE (CNR)

Italy

CONSIGLIO NAZIONALE DELLE RICERCHE (CNR)

Italy

INSTITUTE OF STRUCTURAL MACROKINETICS AND MATERIALS SCIENCE

Russia

MOSCOW INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS AND TECHNOLOGY

Russia

UNIVERSITÉ D'ORLÉANS & CNRS

France

Project information

Grant agreement ID: INTAS 2005-1000005-7664

  • Start date

    1 May 2006

  • End date

    31 October 2008

Funded under:

IC-INTAS

  • Overall budget:

    € 150 000

  • EU contribution

    € 150 000

Coordinated by:

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE (CNRS)

France