Novel, Low-Cost Solid Membrane Water Electrolyzer
75057S Transforming the United States from a fossil-fuel base economy to a ¿hydrogen economy¿ will require cost-effective methods for manufacturing and delivering hydrogen. The electrochemical dissociation of water into elemental hydrogen and oxygen is a well known and widely practiced means of generating hydrogen. However, commercially available water electrolysis technologies are capital-cost intensive, leading to a high hydrogen costs. This project will develop a Solid Membrane Alkaline Electrolyzer system, based on a unique solid alkaline membrane, which is expected to provide high-current-density, high-differential-pressure electrolyzer operation. Phase I demonstrated the concept of the solid alkaline membrane electrolyzer. Cells were operated at high current density and differential pressure, producing hydrogen at greater than 85% voltage efficiency. A preliminary system design was generated. Phase II will identify corrosion resistant components, scale-up both the active area and the number of cells, and fabricate a full-size stack. A complete system design will be prepared, and an economic analysis will be conducted. The program will culminate in the operation of the full-size stack from a solar power source. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The hydrogen generation system should find use in hydrogen-fueled vehicles (both fuel cell and internal combustion-hydrogen), as part of a home-based hydrogen generator, in a bulk hydrogen generator for electric utility applications, and for on-board transportation power applications. Small hydrogen generators also could replace cylinders for the supply hydrogen gas for analytical instrumentation.
Small Business Information at Submission:
89 Rumford Avenue Newton, MA 02466
Number of Employees: