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Achieving Cost Reduction in PEM Electrolysis by Material Development

Friedrich, K. Andreas and Lettenmeier, Philipp and Wang, Li and Kolb, Svenja and Gago, Aldo (2017) Achieving Cost Reduction in PEM Electrolysis by Material Development. 20th Topical Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry, 19.-22. März 2017, Buenos Aires.

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Abstract

Hydrogen is expected to play an important role as a crosslinking technology between power generation on one hand and transport and industry on the other hand. It can directly replace fossil fuels in transport and industry when produced by water electrolysis renewable energies such as solar or wind, which are converted with low efficiencies. The relevant technologies are either the mature alkaline electrolysis or the newer proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis. The PEM system is one of the most promising technologies for a sustainable and emission-free hydrogen production due to its high power density and high efficiency, with potential for performance enhancement and cost reduction [1]. Recent studies have analysed in detail the cost structure of the different electrolysis technologies [2]. For PEM electrolysis in particular, key components that determine the stack cost are the titanium-based contact elements, such as the bipolar plates (BPP) and the current collectors (CC), and the high iridium loading of electrocatalyst for the OER in state of art membrane electrode assemblies (MEA). However, the cost structure depends on the specific design of the electrolyser. This presentation will discuss strategies for cost reduction by synthesizing unsupported and supported IrOx and IrRuOx electrocatalyst with the aim of lowering the high loading [3-5]. Our synthesis procedure consists of producing nano-sized iridium particles by reducing iridium chloride (IrCl3) with conventional sodium borohydride at room temperature and in water-free environment. This concept can also be applied to supported and alloy electrocatalysts. The supports need to be highly stable and exhibit sufficient electronic conductivity. The enhancement of activity achieved with improved electrocatalyst reaches a factor of about15 with respect to the best commercially available electrocatalyst. Additionally, the cost reduction achieved by a titanium coating for stainless steel BPPs or CCs for PEM electrolysis will be discussed. We use vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) to coat either dense coatings for corrosion protection of stainless steel components or build up titanium diffusion layers with defined porosity as contact elements for the MEA [6-8]. The conductivity of the titanium coating can be improved by well-known Pt or Au additions; however, we have also developed promising non-noble conductivity enhancement elements. Furthermore, the VPS coating and production procedure is adaptable to large-scale industrial production. This contribution will discuss the state-of-art of these material developments as well as their potential for future improvements. Hydrogen is expected to play an important role as a crosslinking technology between power generation on one hand and transport and industry on the other hand. It can directly replace fossil fuels in transport and industry when produced by water electrolysis renewable energies such as solar or wind, which are converted with low efficiencies. The relevant technologies are either the mature alkaline electrolysis or the newer proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis. The PEM system is one of the most promising technologies for a sustainable and emission-free hydrogen production due to its high power density and high efficiency, with potential for performance enhancement and cost reduction [1]. Recent studies have analysed in detail the cost structure of the different electrolysis technologies [2]. For PEM electrolysis in particular, key components that determine the stack cost are the titanium-based contact elements, such as the bipolar plates (BPP) and the current collectors (CC), and the high iridium loading of electrocatalyst for the OER in state of art membrane electrode assemblies (MEA). However, the cost structure depends on the specific design of the electrolyser. This presentation will discuss strategies for cost reduction by synthesizing unsupported and supported IrOx and IrRuOx electrocatalyst with the aim of lowering the high loading [3-5]. Our synthesis procedure consists of producing nano-sized iridium particles by reducing iridium chloride (IrCl3) with conventional sodium borohydride at room temperature and in water-free environment. This concept can also be applied to supported and alloy electrocatalysts. The supports need to be highly stable and exhibit sufficient electronic conductivity. The enhancement of activity achieved with improved electrocatalyst reaches a factor of about15 with respect to the best commercially available electrocatalyst. Additionally, the cost reduction achieved by a titanium coating for stainless steel BPPs or CCs for PEM electrolysis will be discussed. We use vacuum plasma spraying (VPS) to coat either dense coatings for corrosion protection of stainless steel components or build up titanium diffusion layers with defined porosity as contact elements for the MEA [6-8]. The conductivity of the titanium coating can be improved by well-known Pt or Au additions; however, we have also developed promising non-noble conductivity enhancement elements. Furthermore, the VPS coating and production procedure is adaptable to large-scale industrial production. This contribution will discuss the state-of-art of these material developments as well as their potential for future improvements.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/117819/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Achieving Cost Reduction in PEM Electrolysis by Material Development
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Friedrich, K. Andreasandreas.friedrich (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2968-5029
Lettenmeier, PhilippPhilipp.Lettenmeier (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2822-8440
Wang, LiLi.Wang (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kolb, SvenjaSvenja.Kolb (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Gago, AldoAldo.Gago (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:21 March 2017
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:Electrolysis hydrogen Generation Polymer membrane
Event Title:20th Topical Meeting of the International Society of Electrochemistry
Event Location:Buenos Aires
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:19.-22. März 2017
Organizer:International Society of Electrochemistry
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Storage and Cross-linked Infrastructures
HGF - Program Themes:Electrolysis and Hydrogen
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SP - Energy Storage
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Elektrochemical Processes (Electrolysis)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Electrochemical Energy Technology
Deposited By: Friedrich, Prof.Dr. Kaspar Andreas
Deposited On:03 Jan 2018 15:29
Last Modified:03 Jan 2018 15:29

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