Estimating the Energy Requirement for Hydrogen Production in Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolysis Cells Using Rapid Operando Hydrogen Crossover Analysis

Jacob Wrubel, Christian Milleville, Ellis Klein, Jason Zack, Andrew Park, Guido Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Hydrogen (H2) crossover in proton exchange membrane water electrolyzers refers to the process by which hydrogen produced at the cathode traverses the membrane and mixes with the oxygen produced at the anode. This phenomenon reduces efficiency and may pose flammability hazards. In this work we present a method for quantifying the H2 content of the anode exhaust gas using a gas chromatograph that is capable of sampling data every 2 min. Subsequent theory is presented to calculate the crossover flux, overall H2 efficiency, and H2 energy requirements. Results the effects of membrane thickness using Nafion™ N117 (178 μm) and Nafion™ NR212 (51 μm) membranes. It was found that thinner membranes lead to improved VI performance but exhibit higher crossover rates. Despite their increased crossover, leading to decreased hydrogen efficiency, the calculated required energy for NR212 membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) was significantly lower than that of N117 MEAs.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)28244-28253
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume47
Issue number66
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-82397

Keywords

  • Differential pressure operation
  • Efficiency
  • Hydrogen crossover
  • Hydrogen energy requirement
  • Low temperature water electrolysis
  • Proton exchange membranes

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