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Proceedings of

The 5th Sriwijaya International Seminar on Energy and Environmental Science & Technology
Palembang, Indonesia
September 10-11, 2014

Effects of Electrical Current, pH, and Electrolyte Addition on


Hydrogen Production by Water Electrolysis
Sri Haryati1*, Davit Susanto1, and Vika Fujiyama1
ChemicalEngineeringDepartmentSriwijayaUniversity

JalanRayaPalembangPrabumulihKm32IndralayaOISumateraSelatan
Indonesia
Correspondingauthor:haryati_djoni@yahoo.co.id

ABSTRACT
Hydrogenisviewedasoneofthemostpotentialenergysourceinthefuture.Oneofmethodstoproduce
hydrogenisbyelectrolysisofwater.Variablesthatwasappliedinthisworkwereelectricalcurrent(0.5A
and0.9A),pH(13.47and13.69),andelectrolyteadditions(namelyNaOHandKOH)withprocessing
timesfor30minutes.Theresultofthisworkwerevariationsofelectricalcurrentat0.9A,pHat13.69and
electrolyteNaOHisat278.394Lwithvolumerate154.663mL/sproducedmostamountofhydrogen,
whereasconditionof0.5A,pH13.47andelectrolyteKOHwas75.122Lwithvolumerateof41.734mL/s
yieldedthelowestamount.

Keywords:Hydrogen,ElectrolysisofWater,Current,pH,Electrolyte

gasification,partialoxidationofoil,
thermochemicalprocess,fermentation,andthe
electrolysisofwater(Winter,2009).Electrolysis
ofwaterisanenvironmentallyfriendlywayto
producehydrogenwithoutemissions.Inthis
work,electrolysisofwatertoproducehydrogen
usedvariationsofelectricalcurrent(0.5Aand
0.9A),pH(13.47and13.69)andelectrolyte
addition(NaOHandKOH).

1. INTRODUCTION
Astheworldpopulationincreases,soisthe
energyconsumption.However,tomet1theenergy
demand,mostcountriesutilizesfossilfuelbased
processes,thatarerelativelyinefficientand
environmentallyunfriendly.Alternativeenergy
isneededtobedevelopedtoovercomeproblems
incurredbytheconsumptionandusageoffossil
fuel.Oneoftheseoptionsisbyusinghydrogen
asnewenergysource.Thereareseveral
considerationsthataretakenintoaccountto
choosehydrogenasanalternativeenergy
includes:anoverwhelmingamountthatcanbe
obtainedeasily,thepotentialhighenergycontent
comparedtootherfuels,whichisequalto120
MJ/kg.Thisamountisalmosttwotimesas
muchastheenergycontentofthegasoline,
whichaccountsonly45.6MJ/kg(KellyYong
etal.,2007).
Thereareseveralmethodsforproducing
hydrogen:steamreformingofnaturalgas
(SMR),thermalcrackingofnaturalgas,coal

2. METHODS
2.1. Preparation of Electrolyte Solution
ElectrolytesolutionsusedwereNaOHand
KOHwhichwerepreparedbydissolvingthe
solidcompoundinto2500mLofdistilledwater
toobtainsolutionswithpH13.47and13.69.
2.2. Electrolysis Process
Electrolytesolutionwasentered2intothe
reactorintothecenterofthereactor3.Electrolysis
processwasundertakenfor30minutes.
Measurementsoftheparameterswereconducted
every5minutes.Theappliedcurrentwere0.5A

92

Proceedings of
The 5th Sriwijaya International Seminar on Energy and Environmental Science & Technology
Palembang, Indonesia
September 10-11, 2014

Whenthehydrogenmoleobtained,thenthe
volumeofhydrogengascanbeobtainedby
usingidealgasequation:
PV=nRT
Description:
P=pressure(atm)
V=volumeofgas(L)
n=numberofmoles(mol)
R=theidealgasconstant0.082(L.atm/molK)
T=temperature(K)

and0.9A.Duringthisprocess,hydrogengas
wouldappearatthecathodewhileoxygengasat
theanodeintheformofgasbubbles.Produced4
hydrogenandoxygenproducedwerecollectedin
thegasstorageafterwards.Equipmentsetupof
electrolysisprocessisshowninFigure1.

3. RESULTS
a. Effects of current to hydrogen production
Effectsofcurrenttohydrogenproductionis
showninFigure25:

>

Figure 1. Equipments of Electrolysis Process


Specification:
1Cathode
2Anode
3PowerSupply
4HydrogenOutlet
5ElectrolyteInput
6OxygenOutlet

d
Figure 2. Effect of current to hydrogen
production in NaOH solution pH 13.47

2.3. Analysis
Analysisofhydrogenproductionweredone
bycalculatingwatervolumereduction5duringthe
electrolysisprocess.Stagesoftheanalysiswere:
1.CalculationofWaterMassReduction.
Reducedmassofwatercanbedetermined
throughtheequation:
m= xV
Where: H2O(30oC)=995.647kg/m3(Perry
andGreen,1997)
2.CalculationofWaterMoles

>

Molesofwatercanbeobtainedusingthe
followingequation:

whereMWisMolecularWeightofwater(18
g/mol)
3.CalculationofHydrogenMoles
Molesofhydrogenwereobtainedfromthe
stoichiometricratiothroughthefollowing
stoichiometricequation:
2H2O 2H2+O2
4.HydrogenVolumeCalculation

Figure 3. Effect of current to hydrogen


production in NaOH solution pH 13.69

93

Proceedings of
The 5th Sriwijaya International Seminar on Energy and Environmental Science & Technology
Palembang, Indonesia
September 10-11, 2014

>

Fromtheaforementionedreactionsatthe
electrodes,theincreasingofcurrentwould
increasehydrogenproduction.Underthe
conditionofpH13.47,electrolyteNaOHwith
current0,5Ahydrogenproduced101,636L
withvolumerate56,464mL/s.Atthesame
conditionswithcurrent0,9A,hydrogen
productionis170,130Lwithvolumerate94,516
mL/s.

b. Effects of pH to hydrogen production


EffectsofpHtohydrogenproductionis
showninFigure69:

Figure 4. Effect of current to hydrogen


production in KOH solution pH 13.47
>

>

,
/
dtD

Figure 6. Effect of pH to hydrogen production


at 0.5 A in NaOH solution

Figure 5. Effect of current to hydrogen


production in KOH solution pH 13.69

>

Figures25showthatincreasingcurrent
wouldmakepotentialdifferencebecomehigher,
accordingtoformula:
V=IR
where:
V=potentialdifference(Volt)
I=Current(A)
R=resistance(ohm)
Potentialdifferencewouldcausemigration
ofioncomingfromdissosiation12ofNaOHand
KOHinwater,wherebyionNa+andK+would
movetocathodeandOHtoanode.The
migrationsofionwouldmakereduction
oxidationreactionwherebyincathodewater
reducedtohydrogenandinanodeionOHwill6
beoxidizedtobeoxygen.

Figure 7. Effect of pH to hydrogen production


at 0.9 A in NaOH solution
FromFigure69,itisseenthatpHcondition
affectedtheamountofhydrogengasproduced.
ThegreaterpHconditionis,themore7hydrogen
gasvolumeobtained.pHconditionrelateswith
concentrationofH+ion(acidiccondition)orOH
(basecondition)insolution.Inbasecondition,

Cathode:4H2O+4e 2H2+4OH
Anode:4OH O2+2H2O+4e

94

Proceedings of
The 5th Sriwijaya International Seminar on Energy and Environmental Science & Technology
Palembang, Indonesia
September 10-11, 2014

volumerate56.464mL/s.Meanwhileat0.9A,
thehydrogenproductionatpH13.69is278.394
Lwithvolumerate154.663mL/sandpH13.47is
170.130Lwithvolumerate94.516mL/s.

thegreaterpHconditionindicatesthemostOH
ionsdissolved.Itcanbedeterminedfromthis
equation:
pH=14+log[OH]
IfthemosttotalOHiondissolved,the8little
resistancecausedbywater,sothatelectronswill
movequicklyandreductionoxidationreaction
(redox)occurred.Asaresult,waterwouldbe
reducedatcathodeproduceshydrogenwhileOH
ionwill13beoxidizedtooxygenatanode.

>

c. Effects of Electrolyte to Hydrogen


Production
Inthiswork,theauthorsusedsodium
hydroxide(NaOH)andpotassiumhydroxide
(KOH)aselectrolyteadditives14.Figures1013
showthatatthesameconditionsofcurrentand
pH,hydrogenobtainedwithelectrolyteNaOH
higherthanKOHduetothefactthatNaatom
haspotentialcellvaluehigherthanKatom.
EcellNa=2,711V
EcellK=2,925V
EcellH2O=0,823V

Ecell=EreductionEoxidation

NahaspotentialcellvaluehigherthanK,
causingNatobe9easilyreducedandmigrateto
cathodetoproducehydrogen.Electrolysis
processwithelectrolyteNaOHwould10
subsequentlyproducemorehydrogenthanKOH.

d
Figure 8. Effect of pH to hydrogen production

>

at 0.5 A in KOH solution

>

E K,
<K,

,
s

Figure 10. Effect of Electrolyte to Hydrogen


Production at 0.5 A pH 13.47

>

E K,

Figure 9. Effect of pH to hydrogen production


at 0.9 A in KOH solution

<K,

InpH13.69,additionsofNaOHandKOH
increasedhydrogenproduction,comparedtopH
condition13.47.Fromthemeasurementof
NaOHsolution0.5A,hydrogenproductionat
pH13.69is114.893Lwithvolumerate63.829
mL/s,higherthanatpH13.47is101.636Lwith

d
Figure 11. Effect of Electrolyte to Hydrogen
Production at 0.5 A pH 13.69
95

Proceedings of
The 5th Sriwijaya International Seminar on Energy and Environmental Science & Technology
Palembang, Indonesia
September 10-11, 2014
Carolina,M.,Harto,A,W.,&Kusnanto.

Pengaruh

>

[3]

[4]

E K,
s

<K,
[5]
[6]

d
Figure 12. Effect of Electrolyte to Hydrogen
Production at 0.9 A pH 13.47

[7]

>

[8]

E K,
s

[9]

<K,

[10]

d
[11]

Figure 13. Effect of Electrolyte to Hydrogen


Production at 0.9A pH 13.69

[11]

[12]

4. CONCLUSION
1.Currentinfluenceshydrogenproduction
wherebyhighercurrentwillincrease
hydrogenobtained.
2.ThegreaterpHwillincreasethehydrogen
obtained,
3.ElectrolyteNaOHproducehydrogenhigher
thanelectrolyteKOHatthesameconditions.
4.Thehighesthydrogenobtainedatcondition
current0.9A,pH13.69,andelectrolyte
NaOHis278.394Lwithvolumerate11
154.663mL/s.
5.Thelowesthydrogenobtainedatcondition
current0.5A,pH13.47andelectrolyteKOH
is75.122Lwithvolumerate41.734mL/s

[13]

[2]

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Correction:
1. Meet
2. Fed
3. Centerofthereactor
4.
5. Reductionofvolumwater
6. Would
7. More
8. A
9. Is
10. Wouldbe
11. Volumerate
12. Dissociation
13. Would
14. Additions

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