Hydrogen Generation from Sea Water by Means of a Metal Hydrolysis Process

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by T. C. Wang, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Inst Inc, United States,
C. K. Tan, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Inst Inc, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Ocean Energy Recovery:

Abstract: Active metals such as magnesium reacted with steam can produce hydrogen. This reduction of water by magnesium or aluminum is a thermodynamically favorable process, however, formation of metal hydroxide shields the metal surface from further reactions to produce H2. Adding Cl- ions in the water could enhance the reaction of Mg with water at ambient temperature. Seawater contains approximately 28 g/l of NaCl. The Cl- in seawater could serve as an effective ion to activate Mg or other metals to react with water. This study was to add Pt, Ni, or Co3O4 as catalysts to seawater at ambient temperature to increase reaction between Mg and H2O and thus results in a higher yield of H2. The process was a spontaneous hydrolysis reaction which did not require an additional energy supply. The results show that the Cl- ion is an effective ion to activate magnesium reacting with water. In addition, Pt-colloid can be an effective catalyst in seawater to enhance H2 production. Based on this bench scale study, an optimal system and large scale reactor can be developed to produce large quantities of hydrogen.

Subject Headings: Metals (chemical) | Sea water | Magnesium | Hydrogen | Hydro power | Temperature effects | Aluminum (chemical) |

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