NEWELY is a EU Horizon2020 project that deals with the development and testing of components for the next generation of Anion Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysers (AEMWE).
The project focuses on material development and demonstration of the new materials in a stack using relevant operating conditions and demonstrating long-term durability.
With the innovations on the membrane, electrodes and stack design, the NEWELY prototype will become the most efficient and cost-competitive AEMWE by 2023.
NEWELY will be an important breakthrough that will enable the economic adoption of green hydrogen energy storage solutions in Europe and in the world for turning to more sustainable energy systems.
“Green hydrogen” defines hydrogen produced from renewable energy. It represents a promising solution for decarbonizing our economy and society by allowing the storage and use of renewable energy.
Water electrolysis is a widespread technique for producing green hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity. This reaction takes place in a unit called an electrolyser.
The most established technologies for water electrolysis are Alkaline Water Electrolysers (AWEs) and Proton Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysers (PEMWEs).
AWE is already a mature technology but its large footprint makes it inadequate for producing the hydrogen at a large scale. PEMWE on the other hand is compact but its dependence on iridium and other expensive materials poses a serious threat for up-scaling.
Anion exchange membrane water electrolysis (AEMWE) combines the benefits of both technologies. However, its key performance indicators (KPI) do not reach commercial requirements and are lacking competitiveness.
The NEWELY project aims to redefine AEMWE, overcoming the current state of AWE and bringing it one step closer to PEMWE in terms of efficiency, cost competitiveness and durability.
NEWELY’s main ambition is to develop the next generation of Anion Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysers characterised by high-performance, cost-effectiveness and durability.
In order to achieve this ambition, NEWELY will have to face technical challenges related to the material and the design of the Membrane, the Electrodes and the Stack.
The three main technical challenges related to the Membrane, the Electrodes and Stack are addressed via the following innovations:
- Chemically, thermally and mechanically stable membranes and ionomers with high ionic conductivity in pure water and reduced gas permeation;
- Performing oxygen evolution reaction (OER) and hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts at neutral pH;
- Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) with innovative materials and design that allow reducing hydrogen crossover;
- Pore-graded macroporous layers (MPL) that will reduce contact resistance of the Porous Transport Layer (PTL). Furthermore, the stainless steel Bipolar Plates (BPPs) will be corrosion resistant and will have low manufacturing cost;
- 200 cm2, active area AEMWE stack with hydraulic compression technology and output hydrogen pressure up to 40 bar.
The coatings and MEAs will have no PGM materials.
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This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 875118. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research
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