Have you ever imagined you could get energy from melted steel? Probably not. The engineers from Tata Steel (a sister of Tata Motors) in India have obtained hydrogen from pouring water on melted steel at 1600°C.
What they got was up to 73% hydrogen, plus some oxygen, nitrogen and some carbon dioxide. The oxygen is redirected back into the slag to form oxides, while the steam accompanying the hydrogen is condensed, leaving only (almost) pure hydrogen to rise.
“Depending on how carefully you have done it, you can get as much as 70% of hydrogen, while the rest could be nitrogen and some carbon dioxide,” Debashish Bhattacharjee, chief of R&D and scientific services from Tata Steel, told FinancialExpress.com.
The company wants to use the newly found method of hydrogen generation for their internal energetic needs, and hopes to recover a large amount of money spent by their factories on oil, by using this kind of energy derived from water.
Bhattacharjee also said that when they experimented on a pilot scale with 12-tonne LD slag for five minutes, the process was capable of generating as much as 3,000 litres of gas, of which around 2,100 litres was hydrogen (with 70% concentration).
The firm patented their technological process and have plans for releasing their hydrogen to commercial market, once all the legal and technological aspects are clear.
We already know that hydrogen is the most touted form of energy storage ever. By merging electric car development with efficient hydrogen production, our civilization may still have a chance of fixing the harm done to the planet in the last hundred years.