Computational Models Help Test Hydrogen Separation

[] The cost of hydrogen production is said to far outweigh the energy return of the gas, but a complex computer program could help to bring the production price down. The Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new computational modeling tool that predicts hydrogen flux through metal alloy separation membranes. These membranes allow pure hydrogen to pass through, while blocking impurities that are present with other gases in the production of hydrogen from fossil energy resources. Separation is a critical component of hydrogen production because impurities lessen the effective use of hydrogen. The use of advanced computing to determine the ability of candidate membranes to produce pure hydrogen would be a time- and money-saving step for hydrogen researchers. Research is supported by the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy.