Fraunhofer UMSICHT researchers are developing a new process called methanol-assisted water electrolysis (MAWE) that could revolutionize the way hydrogen is produced.
MAWE is a more efficient and sustainable way to produce hydrogen than traditional water electrolysis, and it does not compete with drinking water production and irrigation.
MAWE works by splitting water and methanol into hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This process uses less energy than traditional water electrolysis, and it can be used to produce hydrogen from wastewater, which is a valuable resource that is often wasted.
In a recent joint project with industry and business partners, Fraunhofer UMSICHT developed a process for converting metallurgical gases from steel production into basic chemicals, including methanol. This process produces wastewater with methanol residue, which is ideal for MAWE.
Fraunhofer researchers have already successfully conducted laboratory tests of MAWE, and they are now working to optimize the process and implement it on a commercial scale.
If MAWE is successfully commercialized, it could have a significant impact on the hydrogen industry. MAWE would make hydrogen production more efficient and sustainable, and it would reduce the amount of water needed to produce hydrogen. This would make hydrogen a more viable and affordable option for a wide range of applications, including clean energy production, transportation, and industrial processes.