JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The US Department of Defense has granted Nel Hydrogen $5.6-million in funding for a project aimed at accelerating advanced electrolyser stack development to enable low-cost hydrogen storage and resiliency.
The 19-month project is set to advance polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyser development to reduce both operating and capital costs. Mining Weekly can report that PEM electrolysers being platinum-based creates demand pull for South Africa’s platinum group metals.
The project is being conducted in collaboration with the Engineer Research and Development Center-Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL).
Activities include the development of membranes optimised for electrolysis applications, development of advanced catalysts, including high volume manufacturing and recycling techniques, surface coating techniques to reduce precious metal usage, and cell stack integration and testing in a full system at ERDC-CERL. The project also has options for additional funding.
Nel research and development VP Kathy Ayers described the project as being an important enabler for renewable hydrogen generation at scale for industrial applications with the PEM technology, and ERDC-CERL Energy Branch senior researcher Nicholas Josefik highlighted hydrogen generation as a unique energy source that could be used to support national energy security and resiliency.
Nel Hydrogen, a subsidiary of Oslo-based Nel ASA, is a global, dedicated hydrogen company, delivering optimal solutions to produce, store and distribute hydrogen from renewable energy.
ERDC, as one of the most diverse engineering and scientific research organisations in the world, has seven laboratories in four states with more than 2 100 employees to administer an annual research programme exceeding $1-billion.