High Temperature Catalyst Development and Testing for Low Cost and Efficient Solar Driven Sulfur-Based Hydrogen Production 

Daniel M. Ginosar
Idaho National Laboratory
Interfacial Chemistry

To make the hydrogen economy realistic at a large scale, one of the main technical issues to overcome is process materials degradation for water splitting technology.  The Hybrid Sulfur (HyS) process, driven by solar power, has great potential to reach high efficiency and low hydrogen production costs without greenhouse emissions. The high temperature section of the HyS cycle, which operates the catalytic decomposition of sulfuric acid into sulfur dioxide, oxygen and water, is a fundamental section affecting the overall plant efficiency and capital investment.

Greenway Energy (GWE), in conjunction with the University of South Carolina (USC) and Idaho National Laboratory (INL), is developing and testing new catalytic materials to decompose sulfuric acid. A novel catalyst preparation technique, developed by USC, uses a combination of: (1) strong electrostatic adsorption (SEA), which permits formation of very small metal particles with a narrow distribution of sizes, and (2) electroless deposition (ED) to produce controlled bimetallic catalysts. This will result in limiting the catalyst deactivation by using very small particles of a high surface free energy core metal with a catalytically-active outer metal shell deposited by ED. This presentation will focus on the testing of these novel catalysts in the high-temperature sulfuric acid decomposition environment.

Daniel M. Ginosar*1, Birendra Adhikari1, Fahim B. Rahman2, Weijian Diao2, John M. Tengco2, John R. Monnier2, Claudio Corgnale3

1.    Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho
2.    University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
3.    Greenway Energy, LLC, Aiken, South Carolina