The CO-TECH project

13 februari 2019

HyET Hydrogen is part of the CO-TECH project

Hydrogen is fuel for emission-free (i.e. CO2 and fine dust) fuel cell powered electric vehicles. Storage in high-pressure tanks is required to ensure a normal driving range, as is the case for LPG. Renewable production of hydrogen can be done via water electrolysis and also via biomass gasification and fermentation. The biomass-based gases contain apart from hydrogen, traces of carbon monoxide (CO) that deactivate fuel cells. Therefore, additional purification of the hydrogen is required.

Electrochemical hydrogen compression is capable of electrically purifying and compressing hydrogen in a single process step, involving selective anodic oxidation of hydrogen, proton transport through a gas impermeable membrane and subsequent cathodic reduction to molecular hydrogen again.

However, carbon monoxide CO deactivates the anode catalyst that selectively oxidizes the hydrogen (HOR) on the feed gas side. Project CO-TECH aims at improving the CO tolerance of this electrochemical hydrogen compressor by 1) preventing CO from entering the EHC cell using an improved catalyst for preferential oxidation of CO and by 2) developing improved HOR anode electro-catalyst materials that are more active in the presence of CO. Utrecht University, the University of Twente and HyET Hydrogen in Arnhem aim to achieve this objective of CO-tolerant electrochemical hydrogen compression.

This research received funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the framework of the Materials for sustainability and from the Ministry of Economic Affairs in the framework of the PPP allowance.  The project at HyET is headed by Dr. Martijn Mulder, the head of membrane and electrode technology. 

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