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Hydrogen generator scalable with near-zero energy loss

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CoorsTek and Research Partners develop hydrogen that is efficient and scalable for mass production.

CoorsTek announced that a team from its Membrane Sciences division has successfully created a scalable hydrogen generator with near low energy loss in partnership with international research partners.

The findings, which were published in today’s edition of Science, are encouraging news for green and blue hydrogen’s competitiveness in inland and maritime transportation, as well as other sectors.

“Energy efficiency is critical for hydrogen’s future as a clean fuel,” said Irene Yuste, a chemical engineer at CoorsTek Membrane Sciences and Ph.D. candidate at the University of Oslo. “Our research demonstrates that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will have a lower carbon footprint than existing electric vehicles on the market that are charged from the grid.”

Hydrogen is a totally environmentally friendly fuel. For decades, it has been lauded as the fuel of the future, but mass production was not only prohibitively expensive and needed the use of fossil fuels or nuclear energy. For the first time, CoorsTek’s research has discovered a method for producing hydrogen fuel cells that is both efficient and cost-effective, opening the path for scale production.

“We can integrate previously separate traditional hydrogen stages into a single stage.” The outcome is a method that produces hydrogen with almost little energy loss,” said Jose Serra, a professor at Spain’s Instituto de Tecnologa Qumica and a co-author of the Science article.

A new material created by CoorsTek Membrane Sciences was important in its success.

“This allows us to start with tiny hydrogen generators and scale up as demand for hydrogen grows by adding more modules,” stated Per Vestre, Managing Director of CoorsTek Membrane Sciences.

This technique provides a fuel-flexible hydrogen generation platform since it can run on natural gas, biogas, or ammonia. Furthermore, the carbon by-product may be liquefied for transportation, ensuring that no carbon is discharged, making this a very clean fuel choice.

Scientists and engineers from CoorsTek Membrane Sciences, the University of Oslo, and the Norwegian research agency SINTEF, as well as the Instituto de Tecnologa Qumica in Valencia, Spain, contributed to the article published in Science. Leading energy firms such as Saudi Aramco, ENGIE, Equinor, ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies contributed technological specialists and financial resources to the project. The installation of a pilot plant hydrogen generator at Saudi Aramco’s headquarters site in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, is the next phase in the ongoing development program.

Gassnova, Norway’s state-owned firm for carbon capture, storage, and transportation, and the Norwegian Research Council’s NANO2021 initiative both donated financing to the project.

Reference: Clark et al, “Single-step hydrogen production from NH3, CH4, and biogas in stacked proton ceramic reactors”, Science (2022) [LINK https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abj3951]

Arnes Biogradlija
Creative Content Director at EnergyNews.Biz

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