Hydrogen is a promising energy vector for the future. Among the different methods of its production, the electrolysis of water has attracted great attention because it is a sustainable and renewable chemical technology. Thus, hydrogen represents a suitable energy vector for the storage of intermittent energies. This chapter is devoted to the hydrogen generation by water electrolysis as an important part of both existing and emerging industrial electrochemical processes. It aims to give an insight into the theoretical foundations of the operating principles of different types of electrolyzers. Also, it is developed in this chapter, the thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of the reactions taking place at the electrodes of water electrolysis. The evolution reaction of hydrogen has a rapid kinetics, and thus, the polarization of the cathode is not critical. On the other hand, the evolution reaction of oxygen is characterized by a very slow kinetics and is thus responsible for most of the overvoltage in the electrolysis of water. The most important technologies of water electrolysis are addressed: alkaline electrolysis, proton exchange membrane electrolysis, and solid oxide high-temperature electrolysis.
Part of the book: Advances In Hydrogen Generation Technologies