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Introduction To Hydrogen Production Techniques


Almost all hydrogen on earth is found in compounds, mainly in combination with oxygen as water or in combination with carbon as organic substances. Hydrogen is currently primarily produced from fossil resources, in the first place through reforming of natural gas (48% of the world’s production), but also with processes such as partial oxidation of oil (30%) or the gasification of coal (18%). Biomass gasification, which is still in the demonstration phase, is used on a minor scale to produce a hydrogen and/or methane rich fuel gas. The utilization of the secondary energy carrier “electricity” allows hydrogen production by water splitting via electrolysis, which accounts for approximately 4% of the world’s production. This method, however, strongly depends on the availability of cheap electricity. Largest near-term market for hydrogen will be the petrochemical industries requiring massive amounts of H2 for the conversion of heavy oils, tar sands, and other low-grade hydrocarbons.

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Page last modified on December 19, 2008, at 09:39 AM