Hydrogen production without CO2 emissions

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A young French scion has developed a generator to produce hydrogen without CO2 emissions. The developed process, which uses four times less electricity than current electrolysis systems, breaks down methane or biomethane molecules to obtain the hydrogen in gaseous form and to fix the remaining carbon in solid form.

Hydrogen has often been presented as a source ofalternative energy to fossil fuels. Unfortunately for us, this resource does not exist naturally on earth. On the other hand, it is found in abundance in hydrocarbons, which, as the name suggests, are made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms, but also in water molecules, in which hydrogen is bonded to hydrogen. If it is currently possible gain hydrogen By performing an electrolysis of water, this process requires an enormous amount of electricity.

The other recovery technique is called hydrocarbon reforming, which consists of releasing hydrogen under the action of very high heat, but releasing tons of CO2. Today, 95% of hydrogen production comes from coal or natural gas, which emit more carbon dioxide than their direct use Fossil Products. The French start-up Spark Cleantech from the 21st (twenty-first) program of engineering school CentraleSupelecchose a another type of production use pulsed cold plasmas Obtaining hydrogen from biomethane. A pyrolysis technique that uses four times less electricity than electrolysis, with the benefit of recovering hydrogen gas and separating the carbon in solid form, explains Erwan Pannier, technical director and co-founder of Spark Cleantech.

There is much talk today about hydrogen as a fuel for tomorrow’s mobility or to “decarbonize” industry, but the problem currently remains its production, which is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and generates more CO2 emissions than air travel.

That is why we have made it our mission to develop this alternative hydrogen production process called pyrolysis using cold plasma technology. To fully understand its principle, you can imagine a flash emitted in a box whose intensity is controlled in order to eject the hydrogen atoms contained in the biomethane molecules, while the remaining carbon remains in solid form. This process produces no CO2 emissions.

We are convinced that hydrogen is the ideal fuel for transportation in general and in particular for so-called heavy goods vehicles. But extracting it from fossil fuels by delivering tons of CO2, as is the case today, is useless. Could also stay in the oil! Producing this hydrogen through water electrolysis is also not the solution because it would require gigantic amounts of electricity, on the order of 11 GW, and would double the number of new units of nuclear power plants required. to meet national needs.

Our process, which uses 4 times less electricity than electrolysis, also enables decentralized hydrogen production. And we plan to deploy our systems directly in future fueling stations that will be built on-site in an economical way, without the need to transport clean hydrogen for heavy mobility. ยป

L’goal of the young company is to meet the needs of small industries that consume hydrogen. Spark is primarily aimed at metal fabrication and processing companies, flat glass, electronics, food and fine chemical manufacturers. the young scion plans to bring its process to market in the summer of 2024.

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