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Life Cycle Assessment of Hydrogen Production Using Nuclear Energy: An Application Based on Thermochemical Water Splitting

[+] Author Affiliations
Luthfi L. Lubis, Ibrahim Dincer, Marc A. Rosen

University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa, ON, Canada

Paper No. ES2008-54329, pp. 191-198; 8 pages
  • ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability collocated with the Heat Transfer, Fluids Engineering, and 3rd Energy Nanotechnology Conferences
  • ASME 2008 2nd International Conference on Energy Sustainability, Volume 1
  • Jacksonville, Florida, USA, August 10–14, 2008
  • Conference Sponsors: Advanced Energy Systems Division and Solar Energy Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4319-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3832-3
  • Copyright © 2008 by ASME


A life cycle assessment (LCA) of nuclear-based hydrogen production using thermochemical water splitting is conducted. The copper-chlorine thermochemical cycle is considered, and the environmental impacts of the nuclear and thermochemical plants are assessed. Environmental impacts are investigated using CML-2001 impact categories. The nuclear plant and the construction of the hydrogen plant contribute significantly to the total environmental impacts. The environmental impacts of operating the hydrogen production plant contribute much less. Changes in the inventory of materials or chemicals needed in the thermochemical plant do not affect significantly the total impacts. Improvement analysis suggests the development of more sustainable processes, particularly in the nuclear plant and construction of the hydrogen production plant.

Copyright © 2008 by ASME



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