The HyP3D project has announced a breakthrough in the production of high-pressure hydrogen using 3D printing technology.
This Horizon Europe-funded project is showcasing the viability of disruptive high-pressure Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell (SOEC) technology, combined with advanced ceramics 3D printing, to enable efficient and sustainable production of high-pressure hydrogen.
The key to the HyP3D project is the creation of compact, high-pressure standalone SOEC stacks that can convert electricity into compressed hydrogen. HyP3D is utilizing 3D printed SOEC cells with a large active area of 70 cm2, embedded functionalities, and the capacity to produce hydrogen at high densities exceeding 0.90A/cm2 (~1.3V) under conditions of 850°C and 5+ bar pressure.
This novel additive manufacturing methodology presents a paradigm shift away from traditional ceramics SOEC processing. The 3D printed ultra-high power density SOEC stacks reportedly offer a 2.14kW power output within a compact 630 cm3 volume. This translates to a threefold rise in specific power per unit volume to 3.4kW/, and a fourfold increase in specific power per unit mass to 1.10 kW/kg. These capabilities are said to exceed any existing benchmarks.
3DCeram is a key partner in the HyP3D project, focusing on 3D printable feedstock, 3D printing parameters, and thermal treatments. The company has formulated specialized slurries for SLA 3D printing using commercially available YSZ powders, and is now exploring rheological behavior and conducting 3D printing tests. 3DCeram is also working to design optimal 3D printing procedures and produce complex-shaped parts that mirror the final cell dimensions.
The company will leverage its latest semi-automatic ceramic 3D printer, the C1000 Flexmatic, to achieve these goals. Possessing a 320 x 320 mm build platform and two lasers, the C1000 is billed as being ideal for industrial customers with mass 3D printing aims. The C1000 also incorporates a material recycling station, boosting automation and reducing waste.
Hydrogen production system specialists H2B2 are also collaborating as part of the HyP3D project. The Sevilla-based company is said to be “elevating the project’s success” thanks to its energy efficiency expertise. Indeed, the company’s ownership of the manufacturing pilot line reportedly streamlines the production of HyP3D cells.
The HyP3D project has the potential to revolutionize the production of high-pressure hydrogen, making it a more efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective fuel source. 3D printing is playing a key role in this breakthrough, enabling the development of high-performance SOEC stacks that were not possible with traditional manufacturing methods.
The HyP3D project has the potential to have a significant impact on the global hydrogen economy. High-pressure hydrogen is a clean and efficient fuel that can be used in a variety of applications, including transportation, power generation, and industrial processes. The development of more efficient and sustainable methods for producing high-pressure hydrogen could help to accelerate the adoption of this clean fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.