Techno-economic analysis of thermochemical water-splitting system for Co-production of hydrogen and electricity

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18 Scopus citations


The two-step thermochemical metal oxide water-splitting cycle with the state-of-the-art material ceria inevitably produces unutilized high-quality heat, in addition to hydrogen (H2). This study explores whether the ceria cycle can be of greater value by using the excess heat for co-production of electricity. Specially, this technoeconomic study estimates the H2 production cost in a hybrid ceria cycle, in which excess heat produces electricity in an organic Rankine cycle, to increase revenue and decrease H2 cost. The estimated H2 cost from such a co-generation multi-tower plant is still relatively high at $4.55/kg, with an average H2 production of 1431 kg/day per 27.74 MWth tower. Sensitivity analyses show opportunities and challenges to achieving $2/kg H2 through improvements such as increased solar field efficiency, increased revenue from electricity sales, and a decreased capital recovery factor from baseline assumptions. While co-production improves overall system efficiency and economics, achieving $2/kg H2 remains challenging with ceria as the active material and likely will require a new material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1656-1670
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 6 2021


  • Ceria
  • Hydrogen
  • Solar
  • Techno-economic analysis
  • Water-splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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