A new research project hopes to model ways to reduce bubble formation in electrolysis – making green hydrogen even more sustainable
Spotted: Hydrogen is growing in popularity as a clean alternative to methane. While methane is a fossil fuel, it is possible to generate hydrogen using renewable energy – what is called green hydrogen. This alternative fuel is produced through electrolysis, which uses electricity to split water molecules to generate pure hydrogen, with no harmful by-products. However, today, most hydrogen is produced using steam methane reformation, which requires fossil fuels and produces carbon monoxide as a by-product.
One reason why green hydrogen is not more common is that electrolysis is less efficient because it produces bubbles. But that may be about to change. Assistant Professor Pourya Forooghi from Aarhus University has begun a study that hopes to shed light on the physics behind the bubble formation.
The project, called Heat and Bubble Transport over Complex Solid Surfaces, will run for five years. The goal is to develop reliable modelling tools that can be used to reduce excessive bubble formation in electrolysis, as well as in other technical situations in which bubbles cause problems – such as chemical reactions and drag on ship’s hulls.
The use of hydrogen is ramping up, and Springwise has spotted frequent developments in the field. Recent innovations include the production of hydrogen fuel out of thin air, and a method for vastly increasing the storage capacity of hydrogen.
Written By: Lisa Magloff