|Proof of concept plastic alkaline electrolyzer stack.|
The US Department of Energy (DOE) intends to fund approximately $1.4 million (subject to negotiation) for two projects to partner with industry to study the economic feasibility of producing hydrogen at existing commercial nuclear power plants.
Teams selected by DOE for funding will be headed by Electric Transportation Applications and GE Global Research. Both teams include DOE national laboratories and nuclear utility companies as partners.
Electric Transportation Applications plans to perform a study looking at the economics of producing hydrogen at existing nuclear power plants using commercially available production technology. ETA will partner with DOE’s Idaho National Laboratory and Arizona Public Service.
|Basics of the alkaline electrolyzer design. Click to enlarge.|
GE Global Research proposes a feasibility study of hydrogen production using alkaline electrolysis powered by existing nuclear power plants. Their proposal is based on the low-cost alkaline electrolyzer technology developed by GE, in part under DOE’s Hydrogen Program. Partners for this project include DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab and the Entergy Corporation.
GE alkaline electrolysis is designed to reduce capital costs significantly below that required by conventional electrolyzers. Use of a plastic (Noryl) and epoxy reduces the assembly cost of the stack. GE spray-coats the electrodes with a proprietary nickel-based catalyst with a high surface area to reduce the size of the electrode, thereby reducing stack size.
DOE is also funding longer-term research on the production of hydrogen from next-generation nuclear plants. (Earlier post.)