Fraunhofer IFAM, Sunfire, and Canadian materials partner Ionomr Innovations have launched the Integrate research project to apply anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolysis to an industrial scale.
The technology aims to provide efficient electrolyzers on a large scale for cost-effective green hydrogen production. Fraunhofer IFAM has many years of expertise in the field of electrolysis, while Sunfire, as an electrolyzer manufacturer, has its main competence in electrolysis technologies and system integration. The National Research Council of Canada, the Simon Fraser University, and the University of Alberta are also part of the project.
The three-year project has been funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). AEM electrolysis combines the technical advantages of polymer exchange membrane electrolysis (PEM) and alkaline electrolysis (AEL), such as high power density, flexibility, and high gas purity. It has the potential to set new standards in the electrolysis market regarding both operating and investment costs.
The technology utilizes cheaper and non-critical materials and has the potential to produce a double-digit kW range. The Integrate project aims to validate the technology’s technical feasibility under industrially relevant conditions for further scale-up. The project will optimize the production of non-platinum groups of metal catalysts and porous transport layers.
Sunfire will provide a test stand with an electrolysis cell to measure the AEM stack’s performance. Once the electrodes have been tested, the test rig will be modified accordingly to be operational for long-term AEM operation. This promising technology could pave the way for large-scale green hydrogen projects in industry.