A general thermodynamic analysis of hydrogen production based on thermal water splitting processes is presented. Results of the analysis show that the overall efficiency of any thermal water splitting process operating between two temperature limits is proportional to the Carnot efficiency. Implications of thermodynamic efficiency limits and the impacts of loss mechanisms and operating conditions are discussed as they pertain specifically to hydrogen production based on high-temperature electrolysis. Overall system performance predictions are also presented for high-temperature electrolysis plants powered by three different advanced nuclear reactor types, over their respective operating temperature ranges.

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