Perspectives on Low-Temperature Electrolysis and Potential for Renewable Hydrogen at Scale

Bryan Pivovar, Katherine Ayers, Nemanja Danilovic, Ryan Ouimet, Marcelo Carmo, Marius Bornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus Citations


Hydrogen is an important part of any discussion on sustainability and reduction in emissions across major energy sectors. In addition to being a feedstock and process gas for many industrial processes, hydrogen is emerging as a fuel alternative for transportation applications. Renewable sources of hydrogen are therefore required to increase in capacity. Low-temperature electrolysis of water is currently the most mature method for carbon-free hydrogen generation and is reaching relevant scales to impact the energy landscape. However, costs still need to be reduced to be economical with traditional hydrogen sources. Operating cost reductions are enabled by the recent availability of low-cost sources of renewable energy, and the potential exists for a large reduction in capital cost withmaterial and manufacturing optimization. This article focuses on the current status and development needs by component for the low-temperature electrolysis options.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)219-239
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
StatePublished - 7 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-74224


  • Acid electrolyte
  • Alkaline electrolyte
  • Catalyst
  • Electrolysis
  • Hydrogen
  • Ion exchange membranes


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