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Solar (water splitting)


Technology Description

Thermochemical water splitting cycles use a sequence of thermochemical reactions in a closed cycle whose net effect is the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen; intermediate reactants are recycled in the reaction loop. One or more thermochemical reactions require heat at high temperatures, which, however, are lower than those of direct water splitting (typically < 1500°C). Nuclear and concentrated solar power can be used to generate these high temperatures. In some examples of this technology, the cycles also include electrochemical reactions and are called hybrid cycles.

Relevance for Net Zero

Other alternative technologies for hydrogen production from fossil sources with CCS and electrolysis are currently more developed and cost-competitive. However, this technology has the potential to deliver zero-carbon hydrogen while increasing the flexibility of nuclear and solar concentration plants through an additional output different from power generation.

Key Countries

Australia, Europe, United States

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