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Power to Hydrogen demos first-ever industrial-scale AEM electrolysis stack

Source: P2H2

American clean H2 startup Power to Hydrogen (P2H2) recently announced the successful demonstration of the first ever industrial scale Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM)-based electrolysis stack for low-cost green hydrogen production. 

The first phase of the demonstration involved the company's global utility partners, namely American Electric Power (AEP), EDP, E.ON, and Electricity Supply Board (ESB), as a part of 'Free Electrons' program, an innovation program for global utilities working to decarbonize the grid.

The pilot demo focused on demonstrating a fully integrated system based on P2H2's patented hybrid liquid alkaline (AEM) stack design. An AEM-based stack, almost four times larger than those installed with a customer to date, was deployed for the initial phase of demonstration. The next phase will demonstrate full-scale modules in a commercial setting, according to P2H2. 

"Our hybrid liquid alkaline (AEM) technology is critical to allowing hydrogen to reach its decarbonization potential. Existing electrolysis technologies are dependent on using steady, grid electricity that is often carbon intense, or they rely on expensive raw materials that cause additional ecological issues", said Power to Hydrogen CEO, Paul Matter. 

"Our technology charts a course to avoid both of those issues. With the Free Electrons collaboration, we want to eventually help decarbonize electrical grids and heavy industry all over the world", he added. 

AEM-based electrolysis technology is considered 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 percent compared to existing electrolyzer stacks, according to the startup. 

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As much promising the AEM technology is, it is still in the scale up phase globally. The demonstrated stack and system by P2H2 is said to have registered improved performance and durability compared to conventional AEM electrolyzer designs.

The company claims that the pilot project focused on demonstration of key performance criteria necessary for integrating the electrolysis system directly with renewable energy. The system demonstrated the ability to react quickly to load changes and produce hydrogen more efficiently than any renewable load-following product on the market.

P2H2 added that tThe system was operated under simulated renewable energy load cycles for over 1,000 hours of operation, with degradation rates matching conventional alkaline and PEM electrolysis systems.

Renewable load following enables direct connection of the electrolyzer to low-cost electricity "behind the meter" and will make the technology eligible for U.S. and European green hydrogen tax incentives.

The company opines that the demonstrated cost reductions with respect to electricity input and equipment cost are critical to reaching a <$ 2/kg hydrogen cost target, which can put clean hydrogen at a competitive level with fossil fuels, even without government incentives.

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Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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