Electrochemical Hydrogen Compressor
Small Business Information
2-X Gill Street, Woburn, MA, 01801
Abstract78241S Today¿s mechanical, hydrogen compression technology is inefficient, costly, unreliable, and lacking in durability. The inefficiency is derived from the fact that piston and diaphragm compressors are, essentially, isentropic machines. The other problems mentioned above are common to electromechanical systems that have many types of moving parts. This project willl develop an electrochemical hydrogen compressor as a highly modular, isothermal device with no moving parts. Phase I will demonstrate the feasibility of the hydraulic cathode, which circulates water through the compressor cathode, both cooling the cell and humidifying the membrane. By permitting the use of dry hydrogen in the anode, the fundamental problem of anode flooding, a principal difficulty in prior designs, can be avoided. Phase I also will demonstrate the use of improved, corrosion resistant materials and coatings. In Phase II, using a stack of the cells designed and built in Phase I, an extended lifetime test will be run. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: Electrochemical hydrogen compressors could provide a low cost, modular, efficient alternative to the mechanical compressors used in petroleum refineries, which consume about 37% of all the hydrogen produced in the world. Because of its modularity and potential low cost, the electrochemical hydrogen compressor also should be of interest to the compressor industry, which provides 5000 to 3000 psi via diaphragm compressors.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.