Claudio Bianchini, Istituto di Chimica dei Composti Organometallici (ICCOM-CNR), Sesto Fiorentino, Italy, and co-workers report a method to produce both hydrogen and chemicals in a single process making use of electricity provided by renewable energy sources.
Ultrapure hydrogen is produced in an alkaline polymeric membrane electrolyzer through selectively oxidation of a renewable alcohol to the corresponding carboxylate at the anode. The low amount of energy required for this reaction – about one-third the energy required by a traditional water electrolyzer – allows the electrolyzer to be self-sustainable when combined with a hydrogen fuel cell.
The realization of such a process will provide ultrapure hydrogen and, at the same time, lead to the sustainable production of industrially relevant feedstocks from biomasses.
- Self-Sustainable Production of Hydrogen, Chemicals, and Energy from Renewable Alcohols by Electrocatalysis
V. Bambagioni, M. Bevilacqua, C. Bianchini, J. Filippi, A. Lavacchi, A. Marchionni, F. Vizza, P. Kang Shen,
ChemSusChem 2010, 3, 851-855.