Current Research in Low Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane-Based Electrolysis and a Necessary Shift in Focus

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While hydrogen has limited use in energy markets today, significant growth is possible in grid storage and as an energy carrier in other sectors. Along with lower electricity prices, further hydrogen cost reduction can enable electrochemical water splitting, particularly as the use of intermittent, renewable power sources increases and the quantity and duration of storage requirements limit electrical storage options. With the improved viability of large-scale hydrogen production, research in low temperature electrolysis has dramatically increased. The overwhelming majority of research efforts within proton exchange membrane-based systems has focused on catalyst development, although a smaller set have developed transport layers as well. As proton exchange membrane-based electrolysis shifts into higher technology readiness levels, however, there is a growing need for work optimizing materials integration, developing component-specific and device-level accelerated stress tests, and addressing manufacturing considerations. These areas directly impact electrolyzer performance, durability, and cost, and are critical to advancing hydrogen's value and electrochemical water splitting.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number100703
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Chemical Engineering
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-79114


  • catalysis
  • low temperature electrolysis
  • proton exchange membrane


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