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Production of hydrogen and oxygen from water

hydrogen from sunHydrogen productionoxigen productionsolar collectors


The process produces hydrogen and oxygen via water thermal splitting at high temperature by exploitation of solar energy. The device uses selective membranes to separate hydrogen and oxygen that are extracted as ultra-pure gas.

Technical features

The process uses a membrane reactor consisting of a reaction chamber hosting two kinds of membranes: a membrane made of tantalum separating the hydrogen and a ceramic membrane separating the oxygen. For example, at 1900 ° C by reacting 1000 kg of water, about 120 m3 of hydrogen and 60 m3 of ultra-pure oxygen are produced. When using conventional reactors at the same temperature only negligible amounts of hydrogen and oxygen are produced. Furthermore, by providing heat to the membrane reactor through concentrating solar collectors it is possible to produce hydrogen directly from solar energy.

Possible Applications

  • Production of highly-pure hydrogen and oxygen for electronics and pharmaceutics;
  • Exploitation of solar energy to produce directly hydrogen (energy-to-fuel) with high efficiency;
  • Hydrogen produced can be used as an energy-vector to store and exploit of the solar energy.


  • Combination in one membrane reactor of two membranes selective with increase the yield of the water splitting reaction;
  • Production of ultrapure gases (hydrogen and oxygen);
  • Exploitation of concentrating solar collectors working at 1900-2000 °C for producing hydrogen directly from solar energy.