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The principle consists of passing a continuous current through an aqueous solution (usually potassium hydroxide, KOH) which separates the molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. This method, besides producing hydrogen of high purity, does not involve any Greenhouse gas by-products, as opposed to reforming.
Electrolysis also attracts interest as a method of storing electrical energy produced during off peak hours. Production costs depend heavily on the cost of the electricity used. If the electricity used comes from a renewable energy source, this process offers a complete production cycle without CO2 emissions.

In the context of global warming and climate change concerns, the proportion of hydrogen produced by electrolysis is expected to increase rapidly. In particular, electrolysis appears to be the sensible and environmentally friendly way to produce hydrogen when the electricity is derived from renewable sources.

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