Researchers examine new water electrolysis technology for clean production of hydrogen energy

Industry Insights

Hydrogen now receives significant acceptance to substitute fossil fuels as a potential green energy matter. In this context, water electrolysis technology has witnessed active R&D that derives hydrogen from water to generate clean energy and prevents the discharge of greenhouse gases.

The proton exchange membrane water electrolyzer technology, which is currently available in some few countries possesses core material technology and is based on expensive catalysts based on noble metals and perfluorocarbon-build proton exchange membranes. The technology has the drawback to result into high cost of system manufacturing.

In the quest to address the shortcomings of conventional technology, a team of researchers in Korea have recently developed core technology for next-gen water electrolysis system. Significant improvement in the durability and performance and at the same time lowering the cost of production of clean hydrogen energy are the key advantages of the new technology.

The collaborated effort of research associates from various institutions undertaken by the Korea Institute of Science and Technology led to the development a membrane electrode assembly for anion exchange membrane water electrolyzers. The newly developed electrolyzer is likely to replace costly PEMWE technology that is currently used.

Meanwhile, the newly developed electrolyzer that uses an electrode binder and anion exchange membrane is free of expensive metal electrodes of platinum group, and replaces the material of the dividing plate of the water electrolysis compartment with iron in place of titanium.

On comparison of the price of catalyst and separator material only, the manufacturing cost is diminished by nearly 3,000 times that of currently used PEMWE technology. However, it has not been commercially used owing to its low performance in comparison with currently used PEMWE technology and durability challenges of below 100 h of sustained operation.

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