Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), General Atomics Corporation (GA) and the French Commissariat a` l’Energie Atomique (CEA) have been conducting laboratory-scale experiments to investigate the thermochemical production of hydrogen using the Sulfur-Iodine (S-I) process. This project is being conducted as an International Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (INERI) project supported by the CEA and US DOE Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative. In the S-I process, 1) H2SO4 is catalytically decomposed at high temperature to produce SO2, O2 and H2O. 2) The SO2 is reacted with H2O and I2 to produce HI and H2SO4. The H2SO4 is returned to the acid decomposer. 3) The HI is decomposed to H2 and I2. The I2 is returned to the HI production process. Each participant in this work is developing one of the three primary reaction sections. SNL is responsible for the H2SO4 decomposition section, CEA, the primary HI production section and General Atomics, the HI decomposition section. The objective of initial testing of the S-I laboratory-scale experiment was to establish the capability for integrated operations and demonstrate H2 production from the S-I cycle. The first phase of these objectives was achieved with the successful integrated operation of the SNL acid decomposition and CEA Bunsen reactor sections and the subsequent generation of H2 in the GA HI decomposition section. This is the first time the S-I cycle has been realized using engineering materials and operated at prototypic temperature and pressure to produce hydrogen.

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