Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) has collaborated with leading global utility companies including American Electric Power (AEP), EDP, E.ON, and Electricity Supply Board (ESB) to unveil the first industrial-scale Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM)-based electrolysis stack. This breakthrough marks a crucial milestone in the quest for low-cost green hydrogen production, offering a promising alternative to fossil fuels for energy storage and industrial applications.

Technological Breakthrough

The partnership’s pilot project focused on demonstrating the feasibility of P2H2’s patented hybrid liquid alkaline / AEM stack design. During Phase I of the project, a pilot system utilizing an AEM-based stack, four times larger than any previously installed, showcased remarkable performance. This innovative technology integrates seamlessly with renewables, eliminating the need for expensive and supply-constrained raw materials such as gold, platinum, iridium, and perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS). As a result, the AEM electrolysis stack can potentially reduce costs by an impressive 70% compared to existing electrolyzer stacks.

Key Features and Potential Impact

The demonstrated system exhibited exceptional performance criteria, particularly in its ability to react swiftly to load changes and produce hydrogen more efficiently than existing renewable load-following products. Operating under simulated renewable energy load cycles for over 1,000 hours, the system showcased degradation rates on par with conventional electrolysis systems. Moreover, its capability for renewable load positions it as an attractive option for green hydrogen tax incentives in the U.S. and Europe. These advancements are crucial for achieving the target of <$2/kg hydrogen cost, making clean hydrogen competitive with fossil fuels.

Utility Collaboration

The collaboration between AEP, EDP, E.ON, ESB, and P2H2 under the Free Electrons program underscores the industry’s commitment to decarbonizing the grid and combatting climate change. The successful pilot at AEP’s facility in Ohio sets the stage for further innovation, with plans to test larger industrial-scale versions of the technology by the end of 2024. These endeavors aim to develop commercial-scale systems exceeding 10MW, poised to revolutionize industrial and energy storage decarbonization efforts globally.

Stakeholder Perspectives

John McKiernan, Head of Innovation Pipeline at ESB, emphasized the urgency of transitioning to clean energy and lauded the potential of P2H2’s technology to address storage cost challenges. Luis Manuel, Executive Board Member at EDP Innovation, expressed support for hydrogen technology development and highlighted the milestone achieved in advancing low-cost green hydrogen production.

AEM-based electrolysis technology is viewed as a high-potential breakthrough in the hydrogen industry due to its ability to integrate easily with renewables while removing the need for expensive and supply chain-constrained raw materials. By eliminating the need for materials, like gold, platinum, iridium, and perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS), an AEM electrolysis stack can reduce cost by 70% compared to existing electrolyzer stacks.

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