Honeywell Plans ’23 Production of Performance-Boosting Electrolyser Membrane

By June 2, 2023 3   min read  (439 words)

June 2, 2023 |

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HOUSTON (ICIS)–By the end of this year, Honeywell plans to start commercial production of its catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs), a product that could boost the performance of electrolysers by 25% and allow the units to produce green hydrogen more efficiently, a director of the US-based industrial conglomerate said on Thursday.

Honeywell had announced the CCMs just over a year ago. It is progressing to commercial production because it already has large-scale membrane manufacturing in place. For several years, the company has made Separex membrane systems that purify natural gas by removing carbon dioxide.

“We are leveraging that membrane’s experience. That’s why it’s a natural play for us,” said Maya Gomez, Honeywell director of offering management, flow battery and green hydrogen. She made her comments in an interview with ICIS.

“We will have commercial production by the end of the year,” she said.

Membranes are a key component of electrolysers, which use electricity to split water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen. When that electricity is produced by renewable sources such as solar panels or wind turbines, the resulting hydrogen is called green.

Policy makers are relying on green hydrogen to supply power to applications that are difficult to wean off of carbon-emitting fuels. These applications include process heat for chemical plants and other industrial complexes as well as feedstock to make fuels for heavy-duty trucks, aircraft and marine vessels. Hydrogen is also used in fuel cells, which can generate electricity for electric vehicles (EVs).

Companies such as Mitsubishi Power have proposed using green hydrogen as a method of storing excess renewable power. Mitsubishi Power is developing turbines for power plants that can burn blends of hydrogen.

The US has introduced several policies that are intended to lower production and operating costs for green hydrogen plants in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

New technology such as Honeywell’s membrane could further reduce production costs and speed up adoption of green hydrogen.

When Honeywell announced the catalyst-coated membranes, it said that they could reduce electrolyser stack costs by 25%.

During the past year, Honeywell has been working with electrolyser manufacturers, and it has been able to replicate the performance enhancement that the company observed in its labs, Gomez said.

Honeywell’s product can be used in proton-exchange membranes (PEMs) or anion-exchange membranes (AEMs), an up-and-coming technology that could deliver the lower operating costs of PEM-based electrolysers with the lower capital costs of alkaline-based electrolysers, Gomez said.

Enapter recently unveiled what it described as the world’s first megawatt-class AEM-based electrolyser.


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