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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number 2002-6-139-1-6
Title Low-cost modular proton-exchange membrane electrolysers: a feasibility study
Status Completed
Energy Categories Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen production) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 70%;
Applied Research and Development 30%;
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 50%;
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor M (Marcus ) Newborough
No email address given
Award Type 3
Funding Source Carbon Trust
Start Date 01 April 2003
End Date 30 May 2004
Duration 14 months
Total Grant Value £48,750
Industrial Sectors
Region East of England
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor M (Marcus ) Newborough , ITM Power PLC (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , ITM Power PLC (0.001%)
Web Site
Objectives The main technical objectives of the project are to examine the potential for establishing low-cost electrolysers and to assess prospective implementation scenarios.
Abstract Water electrolysers are potentially a key enabling technology for generating zero-carbon hydrogen from renewable, nuclear or CO2-sequestered electricity supplies. Proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers are particularly attractive in having high conversion efficiencies, a sub-second response time and scale-independent performance. Their application is well proven for supplying oxygen in nuclear submarines, but present unit costs are high, and so large reductions need to be achieved if hydrogen-generation applications are to be realised on a significant scale. A novel manufacturing methodology for making low-cost PEM fuel cells is currently being applied by ITM Power Ltd, and this appears to provide a possible route for innovating designs of low-cost PEM electrolysers. The ITM approach for PEM fuel cells involves making composite membrane-electrode assembles (cMEA) and composite cell stacks (cStack) by a 'one step' process utilising radiation polymerisation. The objectives of the proposed research programme are therefore: to assess the technical status and future cost/performance trends for electrolysers and identify barriers to cost reduction (both with respect to materials and production methodologies) from the published literature, private communications and meetings with electrolyser manufacturers; to review ITM's existing PEM fuel cell technology to establish the potential for applying the 'one step methodology' to electrolysers and identifycost/ performance data specific to the cMEA and cSTACK; to consider possible implementation scenarios for PEM electrolysers, estimate the associated carbon-reduction potential of these, derive cost/ performance requirements to achieve specified objectives within given time scales, and hence identify preferred solutions; to report and disseminate the findings of the research
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/01/07