—Gains found by using reactor to extract hydrogen from water “” By employing a prototype advanced nuclear reactor, government and commercial researchers say they can separate hydrogen from water at nearly twice the efficiency of conventional electrolysis. If early studies prove correct, water and nuclear power could provide a cleaner--in terms of air emissions--alternative to the use of fossil fuels as a source of hydrogen and the energy to extract the element. The system uses "high-temperature" electrolysis to separate hydrogen in water, which increases the conversion efficiency to 4550%, compared with conventional electrolysis efficiency of 30%, the Department of Energy says. The high-temperature system uses substantial external heat generated in the nuclear reactor to reach these greater efficiencies.
December 06, 2004