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European consortium receives €1.35M grant to develop supply chains for PEM electrolyzer components

28 June 2012

A European consortium will receive a €1.35-million (US$1.7-million) grant to a consortium to develop supply chains for PEM electrolyzer components. The overall objective of the ELECTROHYPEM (Enhanced performance and cost-effective materials for long-term operation of PEM water electrolyzers coupled to renewable power sources) project is to develop cost-effective components with enhanced activity and stability in order to reduce stack and system costs and to improve efficiency, performance and durability.

The consortium for the three year program includes, UK-based ITM Power; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-ITAE), the coordinator; European Commission, Directorate-General; Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport (JRC); Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS); Solvay Speciality Polymers Italy; and TRE S.p.A Tozzi Renewable Energy.

Presently, the active incumbent materials contribute to about 70% of stack costs. Thus, the focus of the project is on low-cost electrocatalyst, low-noble metal loading electrodes and membrane development.

In particular, the project addresses the development of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers based on such innovative components for residential applications (1 Nm3/h hydrogen production rate with an equivalent energy consumption lower than 4 kWh/Nm3) in the context of a suitable integration with renewable power sources.

The aim is to contribute to the road-map addressing the achievement of a wide-scale decentralized hydrogen production infrastructure.

ITM Power’s main role in the project is to further develop its hydrocarbon PEM electrolyzer membranes and to evaluate the performance and durability of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA’s) developed in the project and undertake assessment of low noble metal loading approaches.

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