Featured Image (Credits ISRO)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Producing Hydrogen for Future Transportation Needs of India

Indian High Temperature Reactor Programme

India has a transport sector that is growing very rapidly, particularly the fossil fuel dependent road transport sector. This directly implies a continuing dependence on imported crude and an exposure of the economy to the fluctuations in crude oil prices in the international markets. From an energy security, environment and economic point of view, a gradual yet certain transition to hydrogen as alternate energy carrier is desirable. Besides the direct use of hydrogen as energy carrier, there is additional option of producing a synthetic fuel, which can be directly used as fuel in IC engines. As a preliminary goal, we could target 25% of our fossil fuel requirement to be met through the use of hydrogen. 

To meet such a target, hydrogen generation requires a source of primary energy, which is abundant and sustainable. Among possible alternatives, nuclear energy, which has a very small carbon footprint, emerges as an attractive primary energy sources. 

 Nuclear energy based hydrogen production envisages hydrogen production by splitting of water. The processes for efficiently producing hydrogen from water, both by electrolysis and thermochemical splitting, are highly energy intensive and require process heat and/or electricity at temperatures generally exceeding 550 °C. In essence, high quality process heat is required to be provided as input for producing hydrogen. 
High temperature nuclear reactors, designed to supply process heat at such temperatures, have a large potential for sustainably supplying energy for these hydrogen production processes.

Image credits: BARC 


  1. Nice to see you updating blog. Thanks :) By the way, any update on LVM3? Heard something about aerodynamic drag issues!! Hope it's not major!!!!

    1. Thanks!! Sorry no update. As far as drag issues are concerned that will be clear only after the flight. They have optimized drag in wind tunnel models. How its gonna behave in real world will be clear only after ISRO does the launch.
      Its a crucial launch as many new technologies will be tested in flight. 1) Solid boosters 2) Clustered vikas engines 3) The whole rocket design itself ( the design bears some similarity with the ASLV) 4) Crew module and escape system 5) Acoustic suppression system 6) Onboard video imaging system (altough not 100% sure ) 7) Navigation control and guidance, and communication electronics (Recently they tested the AIN system on PSLV C23 Launch)