Once again country's premium engineering institute-IIT Delhi has proved its mettle and this time it is in the field of sustainability. A group of researchers of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Delhi) has developed a pilot plant that can help in producing hydrogen fuel from water at a very cheap cost.

This project was completed under the guidance of Prof Sreedevi Upadhyayula, Prof Ashok N Bhaskarwar and Prof Anupam Shukla from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Prof Saswata Bhattacharya, Department of Physics. It was financed by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Energy Centre (OEC).

While conducting the research, the team of researchers from IIT Delhi has successfully split water with the help of a process called Sulphur-Iodine thermochemical hydrogen cycle. This resulted in generating low-cost, clean hydrogen fuel which can be used by the industries. This hydrogen gas or fuel can be a viable option and a renewable alternative to fossil fuels. It can also help in mitigating carbon emission.

One of the main challenge faced by the researcher during the project was to design a suitable catalyst for the sulphuric acid conversion to Sulphur-dioxide and oxygen. However, the in-house catalyst fulfils the criteria and is now patented.

The project supervisor Prof Sreedevi Upadhyayula, Department of Chemical Engineering mentioned that it is of vital importance to switch to renewable energy. She also highlighted that the thermo-chemical hydrogen cycle for splitting water and can be used to produce hydrogen as a fuel and oxygen as a by-product. It can be considered as a favourable method for the commercial production of hydrogen fuel.

She also informed that this research is done by combining state-of-the-art experimental and theoretical approach. With this approach, they have designed an efficient and cost-effective heterogeneous catalyst which is functional under high temperature, corrosive conditions.


Written by: Team The EarthView