Development of a Highly Efficient Solid State Electrochemical Hydrogen Compressor
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
Fuelcell Energy, Inc.
3 Great Pasture Road, Danbury, CT, 06813
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractWith the depletion of fossil fuel reserves, hydrogen-based energy is becoming increasingly important. However, the production, purification, and compression of hydrogen represent key technical challenges to the implementation of a hydrogen economy, especially in the transportation sector where on-board storage of pure hydrogen may require compression at pressures up to 12,000 psi. Existing compressors are inefficient and have many moving parts, resulting in significant component wear and, therefore, excessive maintenance. This project will develop an efficient, low-cost, solid-state electrochemical hydrogen compressor (EHC) based on advanced Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) technology. Phase I demonstrated a baseline, low cost, solid-state hydrogen compressor cell capable of compressing hydrogen from 50 psi to 2,000 psi, a 40-to-1 compression ratio. Phase II will involve a scale-up of the advanced cell architecture to 6,000 psi capability, development and demonstration of critical sealing technology, and the evaluation of candidate membranes that show low power consumption while minimizing parasitic gas crossover. Ultimately, the 6,000 psi design will be used to develop electrochemical cell architectures capable of compressing hydrogen up to 12,000 psiCommercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee; The EHC should find use in the conversion of low-pressure hydrogen derived from on-site sources to high purity, high-pressure hydrogen for vehicular refueling. In addition, this technology should be scalable, leading to compressors that can move large volumes of hydrogen through pipelines to meet infrastructure demands. In this manner, bulk hydrogen can be effectively delivered to the point-of-use. The technology also should find use in industrial applications, such as in refineries and ammonia plants.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.