Progress in Hydrogen Production from Hydrogen Sulfide through a Thermochemical Cycle

R.J. Gillis, W.H. Green
Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
United States

Keywords: hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, thermochemical cycles

Summary:

Hydrogen is a key feedstock to many industrial processes, from the processing of transportation fuels to the creation of fertilizers, but its current production technologies are either prohibitively expensive or carbon intensive. As increasing pressure is placed on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, alternative efficient scalable hydrogen production methods are required to meet the growing demand for hydrogen in both established and incipient industries. We have invented a novel thermochemical cycle to produce hydrogen gas from hydrogen sulfide, a high volume refinery and gas processing waste stream. This method has the potential to significantly disrupt current hydrogen production technologies with both economic and environmental advantages over the incumbent technologies. The new chemical process centers on the reaction of hydrogen sulfide with iodine to produce hydrogen iodide and the subsequent decomposition of hydrogen iodide to generate hydrogen gas. This work will provide a general description of the technology, its implications, and the recent progress toward a prototype demonstration of the technology. An emphasis will be placed on the more recent steps toward demonstration and evaluation of commercial viability.