Opening Gates Towards Large Scale Industrial Application in Hydrogen Production
In a combined theoretical and experimental effort, an international team of researchers from the Group for Computational Life Sciences at the Ruđer Bošković Institute (RBI) in collaboration with researchers at the Friedrich-Alexander Erlangen-Nürnberg University (FAU) have recently made a breakthrough in modelling the mechanism of the production of hydrogen gas in the water-gas shift reaction (WGSR). The process involves conversion of water and carbon monoxide into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, with a help of a ruthenium-based catalyst.
The study was published on the inside cover of one of the most influential journals in the field - 'Angewandte Chemie International Edition'.
The emergent hydrogen is considered to be one of the leading alternatives to the widely used fossil fuels. The newfound understanding of the processes underlying the most efficient implementation of the WGSR allows for additional fine tuning of the reactor outputs, effectively opening the gates towards large scale industrial application in hydrogen production.
"The reaction is based on the conversion of water and carbon monoxide into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, while using a ruthenium-based catalyst, that shows excellent results at low temperatures. These new findings on the processes underlying this, for the time being, most promising WGSR application, allow for the enhanced efficiency and functionality of modern hydrogen purification and production reactors." - explains Robert Stepic, the first author and a PhD fellow in the RBI Group for Computational Life Sciences and PULS Group at the FAU Institute of Theoretical Physics.
The study is a collaborative effort of the researchers from the PULS Group at Institute for Theoretical Physics led by Ana-Suncana Smith, the Institute for Chemical Engineering led by Peter Wasserscheid and Marco Haumann, and the researchers from the RBI, headed by David. M. Smith.
This study is a fusion of the research done by the RBI Group for Computational Life Sciences on the Croatian Science Foundation project - CompSoLSMolFlex and the work done by the research team at the Excellence Cluster "Engineering of Advanced Materials" at the FAU, under the auspices of the Croatian-German bilateral cooperation, funded by the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education (MZO) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).