Among more than 200 different electrochemical hydrogen production cycles, the Cu-Cl cycle is the most promising one for commercialization. This cycle can use industrial waste heat or curtailed electricity from renewable sources or conventional power plants to generate clean Hydrogen. It has an important rule to increase the overall efficiency of renewable energy systems by reducing their losses.
The Cu-Cl cycle is still in its research state since there are some challenges concerning handling the solid materials, corrosion, and its different reactors’ design. The researchers at the Intelligent Fuels and Energy Laboratory are developing an innovative oxygen reactor by focusing on its optimal thermal design and continuous operation. The oxygen reactor is the most critical reactor in the Cu-Cl cycle because it has the maximum exergy destruction and the highest required input temperature. By implementing this design, we can get closer to the commercialization of the Cu-Cl cycle that will benefit many stakeholders all around the energy industry and count toward the expansion of the hydrogen economy.