Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Plasma pyrolysis for a sustainable hydrogen economy

Producing low-carbon hydrogen to use as a clean energy carrier is an important step towards a decarbonized economy. Plasma pyrolysis is an emerging technology that has great potential for the large-scale production of low-carbon and affordable hydrogen.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Hydrogen production by plasma pyrolysis.

References

  1. Abánades, A., Rubbia, C. & Salmieri, D. Thermal cracking of methane into hydrogen for a CO2-free utilization of natural gas. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 38, 8491–8496 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Schneider, S., Bajohr, S., Graf, F. & Kolb, T. State of the art of hydrogen production via pyrolysis of natural gas. ChemBioEng Rev. 7, 150–158 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Kerscher, F. et al. Low-carbon hydrogen production via electron beam plasma methane pyrolysis: techno-economic analysis and carbon footprint assessment. Int. J. Hydrogen Energy 46, 19897–19912 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Timmerberg, S., Kaltschmitt, M. & Finkbeiner, M. Hydrogen and hydrogen-derived fuels through methane decomposition of natural gas–GHG emissions and costs. Energy Convers. Manag. X 7, 100043 (2020).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Uekert, T., Pichler, C. M., Schubert, T. & Reisner, E. Solar-driven reforming of solid waste for a sustainable future. Nat. Sustain. 4, 383–391 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Weidenkaff, A., Wagner-Wenz, R. & Veziridis, A. A world without electronic waste. Nat. Rev. Mater. 6, 462–463 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Ramos, A. & Rouboa, A. Life cycle thinking of plasma gasification as a waste-to-energy tool: review on environmental, economic and social aspects. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 153, 111762 (2022).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors are thankful to K. Hendrich for her kind support during the discussion of the content of the Comment. X.T. acknowledges financial support from the UK EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account, the Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship (ref. NAF/R1/180230) and the British Council (no. 623389161).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

The authors contributed equally to all aspects of the article.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Guoxing Chen, Xin Tu or Anke Weidenkaff.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Related links

5,000 tons of hydrogen per year: https://energynews.biz/monolith-to-expand-turquoise-hydrogen-plant/

Hydrogen is increasingly seen as a potentially zero-carbon and zero-pollution energy vector: https://www.iea.org/reports/the-future-of-hydrogen

Targets set in the COP26 Glasgow agreement: https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/resource/cop26_auv_2f_cover_decision.pdf

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Chen, G., Tu, X., Homm, G. et al. Plasma pyrolysis for a sustainable hydrogen economy. Nat Rev Mater 7, 333–334 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-022-00439-8

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-022-00439-8

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing