High temperature electrolysis for hydrogen or syngas production from nuclear or renewable energy

Y. Shi, Y. Luo, W. Li, Meng Ni, N. Cai

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


High temperature electrolysis using solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) is a promising method for converting electrical energy into chemical energy. The high temperature electrolysis is advantageous compared with low temperature electrolysis owing to its high electricity-to-hydrogen efficiency, fast reaction rate, and relatively low cost. The working principles and thermodynamics of SOEC for H2O electrolysis and H2O/CO2 co-electrolysis are described. The typical materials used for SOEC are reviewed and technical challenges for SOEC durability are discussed. To further decrease the electrical energy consumption, fuel-assisted SOEC is proposed and demonstrated to be feasible for syngas production at very low electrical energy consumption or even power generation. The planar cell and tubular cells are identified as promising designs for commercial SOEC applications. As SOEC requires both electrical energy and thermal energy input, the feasibility of integrating SOEC with nuclear power plant or renewable power plant for clean fuel production is discussed. Mathematical models at different levels contribute to understand the complex transport and reaction phenomena in SOECs and help optimize the SOEC systems. In the end, the challenges of SOEC and future developments are discussed. With further technological development, the SOEC could play an important role in future fuel processing, energy storage, and stabilizing the fluctuating renewable energy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of clean energy systems
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)1118991974, 9781118991978
ISBN (Print)1118388585, 9781118388587
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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