water splitting process

The hydrogen economy is currently at a critical juncture, the market requires a huge production of hydrogen any form of clean raw material. Production of hydrogen from water is currently on the way of crucial research while hydrogen can be produced naturally from water. The market requires clean and sustainable energy, and for a wide range of applications. The use of hydrogen is an important thing to be taken into consideration if you are going to search for hydrogen. Hydrogen is a gas that is produced naturally in the body.


What is hydrogen?

Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, flammable, highly reactive, and extremely volatile substance. Hydrogen is the cleanest fuel we have ever seen. However, we need to find ways to produce it efficiently and safely.  Hydrogen is a chemical element that occurs naturally in small amounts in many substances. Click here to know more about hydrogen.


Hydrogen production processes

The three major categories of different processes of hydrogen production as below:

  1. Thermal process
  2. Electrolysis process
  3. Photolytic process

Each processing method has its advantages and disadvantages, each of these methods with its pros and cons is already discussed (click here).


Technological possibilities for hydrogen production:

The seven important production technologies drawn from the above three major categories are briefly discussed category-wise and are summarized in our last article. Let’s take a look at a few cutting-edge technological possibilities for hydrogen production to drown from the above major categories.


Production of hydrogen from water

Hydrogen can be produced naturally from water and as you know water is abundant in nature. Hydrogen is a gas that can be produced by the breakdown of water molecules. The technique of electrolysis can convert water into hydrogen and oxygen gases.  The fuel hydrogen gas is fantastic!


Electrolysis is the process of splitting water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen gases with electricity. Using electricity, the process of electrolysis separates water into hydrogen and oxygen. The use of electricity to split water is a promising method of producing hydrogen. Through electrolysis, we turn electrical energy into storable fuel as hydrogen gas.


Mechanism of Electrolysis:

         In this process, an electric current is passed through the water to split it into hydrogen and oxygen. This reaction takes place in a unit called an electrolyzer. In an electrolytic cell, which consists of two platinum electrodes submerged in water, this water has a little amount of an electrolyte, like H2SO4, added to it. Because pure water lacks the ions necessary for carrying electricity, an electrolyte must be added to electrolyze the water. Water in the solution breaks down into oxygen gas and hydrogen ions at the anode when an electric current is run through it. On the other hand, water is converted into hydrogen gas and hydroxide ions at the cathode.

hydrogen from water: water splitting process

Chemical reaction during electrolysis:

An electron is either lost or gained during the chemical transformation, depending on the material (oxidation or reduction). The procedure is carried out in an electrolytic cell, a device made up of positively and negatively charged electrodes that are held apart and submerged in a solution with oppositely charged ions. The reduction and oxidation reaction takes place as below:

hydrogen from water: Reactions during Electrolysis of water


The salient feature of electrolysis is to produce hydrogen from water

The salient feature of the electrolysis process to produce hydrogen is discussed in bullets:

  • The electrolysis is an illustration of a decomposition reaction.
  • This is due to the fact that water divides into its component parts, hydrogen, and oxygen when an electric current is applied.
  • The procedure is carried out in an electrolytic cell, also called
  • The electrolytic cell is nothing just a device made up of positively and negatively charged electrodes that are held apart and submerged in a solution with oppositely charged ions
  • Electrolyzers can range in size dependent on the production capacity.
  • In Electrolyzers, the water is electrolyzed using platinum electrodes.
  • Electrolyzers are made up of an anode and a cathode separated by an electrolyte just like fuel cells.
  • About 1.23V is the bare minimum voltage required for electrolysis of water in the presence of acid.
  • This voltage drops when electrolysis is performed at a high temperature.


Factors affecting to production of hydrogen from water

The effective production of hydrogen from water through electrolysis depends upon different conditions. The effectiveness of electrolysis or the transfer of electrons to produce hydrogen depends on a variety of conditions, including;

  • Nature and chemistry of the electrolyte and electrode.
  • Activation energy
  • How many anions and cations are in the solution?
  • The ions’ pace of movement toward the electrode (simply, mobility rate of ions).
  • Standard electrode potentials of oxidizing and reducing agents.
  • Different electrolyzers work in various ways, primarily due to the various electrolyte materials involved and the ionic species it conducts.
  • Although it is less efficient than a direct chemical path, this process produces almost no pollution or toxic byproducts if the electric current is generated using renewable energy.

Application of produced hydrogen from water:

The produced hydrogen from water can widely be used in industry, medicine, and science. It is used as fuel for cars, power stations, and space rockets. Hydrogen is also used in the production of ammonia, methanol, synthetic fibers, and many plastics.


hydrogen from water hydrogen from water hydrogen from water hydrogen from water hydrogen from water

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The author has a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering

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