As part of the SINEWAVE subproject within the Leitprojekt H2Giga, two new PhD candidates at APT have started working on hydrogen generation through PEM water electrolysis.
Our aim is to study the process integration of green hydrogen produced via electrolysis into downstream chemicals production such as methanol and ammonia.
The integration of electrolyzers into the downstream process seems trivial at first. Electrolyzers are known for providing high-purity hydrogen, which requires only compression before further processing. However, electrolyzers that are operated on renewable electricity exhibit a crucial difference to conventional hydrogen production systems: Rather than operating in stationary conditions, they provide a hydrogen stream that matches the availability of electricity from renewable sources. The challenge therefore lies in optimally utilizing that fluctuating hydrogen stream by a combination of transient operation of the downstream process and utilization of hydrogen storage.
Additionally, we investigate the capabilities of additive manufacturing to produce components used in the electrolyzer periphery. Here, we focus on the economic value of 3D-printed components in the context of electrolyzer serial production. Additive manufacturing allows for more complex structures, which could result in a significant efficiency gain. The overarching goal here is to reduce the hydrogen production cost.