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Imperial College London
Imperial College London:
Prof Anthony Kucernak
Dr Paul Boldrin
Dr Colleen Jackson
This project is addressing an area of increasing importance and urgency, that of how to best scale electrochemical reactors such as electrolysers, enabling lowest cost manufacture, and how to best integrate these into industry clusters. A key measure of success will be to demonstrate that the low carbon potential of these technologies can be cost effectively realised, and that commercial supply chains can be established. There is a clear opportunity for this sector to grow within the UK, with UK manufacturers at the leading edge of electrolyser development, but the manufacturing volumes and technology scale is currently too small for widespread adoption in industrial clusters. There is also opportunity for learning from other areas of volume manufacturing of electrochemical technology, such as batteries, to be brought into the sector – whereas at present there is little cross-fertilisation. For example, large scale manufacture of electrodes for these systems might benefit from increased experience in the development of fuel cell electrodes by Johnson Matthey in Swindon and battery electrode production facilities being currently being assembled in Coventry as part of the Faraday initiative (for which Brandon is a founder and an expert panel member). Innovation is also needed to drive down the cost of the technology, including manufacturing cost, to increase the value of the product through co-generation of chemicals, and to understand the optimum design rules for electrolyser scaling. There is also scope for the introduction of modern power electronics into this area, especially where those systems have to rapidly interface with the changing electricity profile of renewable sources. The project aims to both improve understanding of how to best use and integrate electrolysis in industrial de-carbonisation, for example at scale and with what technology, to undertake innovation to lower cost, and to work with partners to apply this knowledge to selected cluster decarbonisation projects.
A report on low temperature co-electrolysis has been completed, titled, ‘Electrolysis for Green Hydrogen and Co-Produced Chemicals at Scale’ submitted in July 2022. Here we propose ozone, hydrogen peroxide and persulphates as co-products with hydrogen, which may reduce the cost of green hydrogen, as a second, valuable product may be utilised. Following from this report, we will investigate the most profitable co-product.