New membrane could help make hydrogen production less expensive and more efficient

New membrane could help make hydrogen production less expensive and more efficient

December 12, 2017 2 By Bret Williams

Researchers develop new ceramic membrane that can produce hydrogen from methane

Researchers from the Institute of Chemical Technology, the Valencia Polytechnic University, and the Superior Council of Scientific Investigation, have developed a new ceramic membrane that allows for hydrogen fuel to be produced from methane. The researchers suggest that this process can be accomplished with nearly no energy loss. The membrane could open up a way for hydrogen fuel to be produced in an affordable and efficient manner, which may help make fuel cells much more popular.

Finding efficient ways to produce hydrogen is becoming more important

Hydrogen fuel has become quite important in numerous industries due to its high energy density and the fact that it produces no harmful emissions when used to generate electricity. The problem with hydrogen production, however, is that conventional production methods consume massive amounts of energy, much of which comes from fossil-fuels. The new membrane could be used to resolve this problem, allowing hydrogen production to consume less energy and the production process itself to become less expensive.

Fuel cell vehicles could benefit greatly from new membrane

The new membrane could have a particularly significant impact on the clean transportation space. Vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells are expected to become more common in the near future. As these vehicles launch, they will place greater pressure on established fueling infrastructures, increasing the demand for hydrogen. Fuel cell vehicles currently lack comprehensive infrastructure support, which has made them relatively unattractive when compared to other electric vehicles. The membrane could change this by helping increase hydrogen production.

Membrane is capable of producing hydrogen using methane

Perhaps the greatest aspect of the membrane is the fact that it uses methane to produce hydrogen fuel. Methane is less expensive than the electricity that is required to produce hydrogen in a conventional fashion. Further work must be done before the membrane can be made commercially available, of course. Researchers believe that the membrane may be able to help secure the future success of fuel cell vehicles.

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