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Mechanical Structure and Performance Evaluation of High Differential Pressure Water Electrolysis Cell

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.23 No.2

Summary

High differential pressure water electrolysis is a method that can replace the conventional high-pressure hydrogen production technology that uses normal pressure water electrolysis and a mechanical compressor. The differential pressure method requires a pressure resistant electrolysis cell, and the target hydrogen pressure is to be held by the proton exchange membrane. These issues were addressed by adjusting the strength and surfacial pores of the anode current collector and suppressing proton exchange membrane deformation, enabling the membrane to sustain a differential pressure of 35 MPa. Tests using a piston-type high differential pressure water electrolysis cell clarified that the optimum interfacial pressure between the current collector and the catalyst is 5 MPa. High-pressure hydrogen was successfully produced with a theoretical pressurization energy based on the concentration difference voltage by maintaining a constant interfacial pressure regardless of the hydrogen pressure inside the cell. In addition, it was confirmed that the current efficiency was 97%, the only loss was that due to hydrogen cross-permeation across the membrane, and that the cross-permeated hydrogen had no effect on other functions. Cross-permeation of oxygen was suppressed due to the differential pressure, and the oxygen concentration in the produced hydrogen was the specification value of 5 ppm or less. This means that the obtained hydrogen had a higher purity than that produced by normal pressure water electrolysis.

Reference

(1) Ueyama, M., Kita, M., Taguchi, S., Nakazawa, K., Nagaoka, H., Arakawa, S.: Introduction of Hydrogen Refueling Station with Photovoltaic Modules, Honda R&D Technical Review, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 31-38
(2) Okabe, M., Nakazawa, K., Taruya, K., Handa, K.: Verification Test of Hydrogen Refueling Station with Photovoltaic Modules, Honda R&D Technical Review, April, 2008, p. 67-73
(3) Nakazawa, K., Nagaoka, H., Takeuchi, J., Moburg, F., Yamashita, I., Okabe, M.: Introduction of High Differential Pressure Water Electrolysis-type Solar Hydrogen Station, Honda R&D Technical Review, October, 2010, p. 28-35
(4) The Electrochemical Society of Japan: Electrochemical handbook, Vol. 5, p. 155 (2000)
(5) Sakai, K., et al. : Makubunri process no Riron to Sekkei, IPC, p. 196-197 (1993) (in Japanese)
(6) The Society of Chemical Engineers, Japan: Chemical engineering handbook, Vol. 6, p. 298 (1999)
(7) Inoue, M., Nakahara, M.: Research on the Control of the Propagation of Hydrogen Combustion by Water Spray, Hydrogen Energy Systems, Vol. 34, No. 3, p. 23-31 (2009)
(8) ISO14687-2: Hydrogen fuel - Product specification - Part 2, Type 1, Grade D

Author (organization or company)

Eiji HARYU(Automobile R&D Center)、Koji NAKAZAWA(Automobile R&D Center)、Kenji TARUYA(Automobile R&D Center)、Hiroyuki ISHIKAWA(Automobile R&D Center)、Masanori OKABE(Automobile R&D Center)

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