Green Hydrogen from Seawater Using PEM Electrolyzer by  Fraunhofer ISE - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Green Hydrogen from Seawater Using PEM Electrolyzer by Fraunhofer ISE

Here’s an article posted in PV Magazine

According to the article,

  • Fraunhofer ISE, in collaboration with project partners, has developed a groundbreaking concept for offshore hydrogen production using PEM electrolysis, which is both technically and economically feasible.
  • The “OffsH2ore” project aims to create an integrated offshore hydrogen production plant with a 500 MW electrolysis platform, capable of producing up to 50,000 tons of green hydrogen per year.

Let’s break down the process elaborately:

  1. Seawater Intake: Seawater is the abundant raw material for this process. It’s drawn from the ocean, typically in coastal areas where the infrastructure for seawater intake is established.
  2. Pre-treatment: Before electrolysis, seawater needs pre-treatment to remove impurities and adjust its pH level. This process may involve filtration, sedimentation, and chemical treatment to ensure the electrolyzer’s efficient operation and longevity.
  3. PEM Electrolysis: The heart of the process is the PEM electrolyzer. In this setup, an electrical current is passed through water, splitting it into hydrogen and oxygen gases. PEM electrolyzers use a solid polymer electrolyte membrane that selectively conducts protons (H+) while blocking the flow of electrons, ensuring the production of high-purity hydrogen gas.
  4. Renewable Energy Integration: Fraunhofer ISE emphasizes the use of renewable energy sources to power the electrolysis process, such as solar or wind energy. This ensures that the hydrogen produced is truly green, with minimal carbon footprint.
  5. Efficiency: PEM electrolyzers are known for their high efficiency and rapid response times. Fraunhofer ISE’s research likely focuses on optimizing the efficiency of the electrolysis process to maximize hydrogen production while minimizing energy consumption.
  6. Hydrogen Purification: The produced hydrogen gas may undergo purification steps to remove any remaining impurities, ensuring it meets the required purity standards for various applications, such as fuel cells or industrial processes.
  7. Scaling and Cost Reduction: Fraunhofer ISE’s research may also involve scaling up the production process and reducing the cost of green hydrogen production. This could include advancements in electrolyzer technology, process optimization, and integration with renewable energy sources to achieve economies of scale.

Specific data points and informative facts could include:

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  • Efficiency of PEM electrolyzers: PEM electrolyzers typically operate at efficiencies ranging from 70% to 80%, with some advanced systems achieving even higher efficiency.
  • Cost per kilogram of hydrogen produced: Fraunhofer ISE’s research may aim to reduce the cost of green hydrogen production to make it competitive with traditional hydrogen production methods.
  • Electrolyzer capacity: The research may involve testing electrolyzer units of varying capacities, from small-scale systems suitable for decentralized applications to large-scale units for industrial production.
  • Hydrogen purity: The purity of hydrogen produced through PEM electrolysis can exceed 99.9%, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including fuel cells for transportation and power generation.
  • Environmental benefits: Producing hydrogen from seawater using renewable energy sources offers significant environmental benefits, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and decreased dependence on fossil fuels.

Interestingly, we have some other posts related to this content:

Green Hydrogen From Seawater Using Catalysts: UH researchers develop a catalyst for converting seawater to green hydrogen, a game-changer for regions with limited freshwater access.

Hydrogen Production from Seawater: New System by Researchers: Innovative system converts seawater into hydrogen fuel, providing a sustainable energy source and enhancing understanding of seawater ion movement.

Double-Membrane Electrolysis: A New Method for Producing Hydrogen Directly from Seawater – A new method called double-membrane electrolysis enables the extraction of hydrogen directly from seawater, operating without creating toxic by-products like bleach and chlorine.

About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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