Date of Award:

12-2008

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Byard Wood

Abstract

With an ever-increasing need to find alternative fuels to curb the use of oil in the world, many sources have been identified as alternative fuels. One of these sources is hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced through an electro-chemical process. The objective of this report is to model an electrochemical process and determine gains and or losses in efficiency of the process by increasing or decreasing the temperature of the feed water. In order to make the process environmentally conscience, electricity from a geothermal plant will be used to power the electrolyzer. Using the renewable energy makes the process of producing hydrogen carbon free. Water considerations and a model of a geothermal plant were incorporated to achieve the objectives. The data show that there are optimal operating characteristics for electrolyzers. There is a 17% increase in efficiency by increasing the temperature from 20ºC to 80ºC. The greater the temperature the higher the efficiencies, but there are trade-offs with the required currents.

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