NEWELY is a new prototype of Anion Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysers characterised by high-performance, cost-effectiveness and durability.
The 2 kW 5-cell AEMWE stack prototype is based on hydraulic compression with novel components characterised by superior performance and stability. It is fed with pure water feedstock at a temperature of at least 45 °C and it keeps this performance for 2,000 hours
NEWELY focuses on the development of novel membrane materials and on the improvement/optimisation of existing membranes and ionomers to attain the membranes’ and ionomers’ OH- ionic conductivity at room temperature. The AEMs have high mechanical strength and reduced thickness, while retaining excellent gas separation properties, enabling operation in pure water. The performance are maintained after the 2,000 h AEMWE endurance test.
The project develops novel concepts to design and synthetize electrocatalyst for Oxygen and Hydrogen Evolution Reactions (OER, HER) at neutral pH. The key concept is to reduce the gap between the theoretical thermodynamics of water electrolysis and its kinetics. In terms of water splitting catalysts either for OER or HER, NEWELY envisages to investigate promising non-PGM water splitting electrocatalyst such as the oxides, sulphides and carbon infused transition metals especially from Nickel, Tungsten, Iron, and Manganese. These transition metals are non-critical raw materials (CRM).
Thermal spraying of MPL on titanium Porous Transport Layers (PTLs) improves largely the performance of the electrolyzer at high current densities. The MPL concept is used in NEWELY offering the following benefits:
- Protection of PTL against corrosion
- Decreased cell overpotential at high current densities
- Reduction of in contact Ohmic Resistance
- Mitigation of the mass transport limitations
- Improvement of the anode catalyst utilization
These will result in performing water distribution and gas detachment efficiency under high current density operation. With the NEWELY electrode configuration, the electrode performance in terms of catalytic utilization and mass transportation efficiency will be greatly enhanced.
A novel stack technology with hydraulic cell compression is used. A laboratory scale PEM electrolyser prototype for operation at 50 bar hydrogen output pressure as well as test cell system based on this principle have already been realized for test bench purposes. The prototype is based on flexible pockets which already became patented in US, CAN, PRC, JPN, and EU. Cells are placed into these pockets and the pressure inside the stack is directly applied to the pole plates of each single cell. This concept is brought to NEWELY to produce a AEMWE that reaches up to 40 bar hydrogen output pressure.
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This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under Grant Agreement No 875118. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research
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