Energy sources independent of fossil fuels or atomic power are of great importance to achieve a sustainable society from the viewpoint of environmental conservation and benefits. Hydrogen is considered as one of the main candidates for new sources. The steam reforming method is a major contemporary process for manufacturing hydrogen, during which carbon dioxide is simultaneously generated. Therefore, an additional process that can separate hydrogen from carbon dioxide is necessary. For this reason, we proposed the use of a new method based on the Soret effect for the separation of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The Soret effect is capable of producing a concentration difference only by imposing a temperature difference. However, in previous studies, our group found that a single-step separation process could increase the concentration by only a few percent. Thus, a multi-step separation process is necessary for obtaining high gas concentration. In this study, we adopted micro-electromechanical system (MEMS) fabrication technology to develop a separation device and performed single-step hydrogen-separation experiments. The MEMS technology applied in this study has shown potential for the miniaturization of the device and enhancement of separation cycle number for future experiments.
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