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Bloom utilizes nuclear energy to produce clean hydrogen

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Bloom Energy and Idaho National Laboratory have agreed to test the utilization of nuclear energy to produce clean hydrogen using Bloom Energy’s solid oxide, high-temperature electrolyzer independently.

Electrolysis, which is driven by nuclear power, is used to produce this carbon-free hydrogen. Instead of ramping down power generation when the electric grid is at capacity, nuclear facilities can use their electricity to manufacture cost-effective hydrogen to serve the expanding hydrogen economy.

Bloom Energy’s electrolyzer transforms water (or steam) into hydrogen and oxygen, and was first revealed in July 2020. The hydrogen can then be pumped into a natural gas pipeline, stored and utilized later for power generation with a fuel cell, dispensed to fuel cell automobiles, or used in industrial activities that require significant amounts of hydrogen. Bloom Energy’s electrolyzer is more efficient than low-temperature electrolyzers, lowering the amount of electricity required for hydrogen production. The steam supplied to the electrolyzers can also be generated using the nuclear power plant’s thermal energy, increasing the overall efficiency of hydrogen generation even more.

Bloom Energy’s electrolyzers will be put to the test at INL’s Dynamic Energy Testing and Integration Laboratory in Idaho, where researchers may replicate steam and load following conditions as if they were already connected to a nuclear power plant. These simulations will allow you to model operations in a safe and regulated environment.

“The high-temperature electrolyzers take advantage of both the thermal and the electrical power that are available at nuclear power plants,” said Tyler Westover, the Hydrogen and Thermal Systems Group lead at INL. “This expands the markets for nuclear power plants by allowing them to switch between sending power to the electrical grid and producing clean hydrogen for transportation and industry energy sectors.”

“We must think creatively and seek all possible low, zero, and negative carbon solutions to benefit our planet.  Harnessing excess energy to produce hydrogen is a solution with a positive impact on global decarbonization efforts and we look forward to working with the team at Idaho National Laboratory to make this a reality,” said Venkat Venkataraman, EVP and chief technology officer, Bloom Energy. “As a result of this pilot, we expect to establish carbon-free hydrogen generation with the highest efficiency of any electrolyzer in the market today.”

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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