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Electrolysis module producing high quality hydrogen with 350 bar without any compressor

Country of Origin: Austria
Reference Number: TOAT20170109001
Publication Date: 9 January 2017


An Austrian company developed a 350 bar electrolysis system for fueling vehicles (industrial trucks, buses) and for hydrogen processing industries. It reduces investment and maintenance (no compressors needed), storage of hydrogen and risk. The scalable system features high efficiency, perfect hydrogen quality, ISO-certification, optimized grid operation and high safety. The company is looking for system integrators (technical cooperation), commercial and manufacturing agreements.


Hydrogen fuel cell systems are more and more used as reliable provider of energy for mobile industrial applications (industrial trucks) and municipal vehicles (e.g. street sweeper). Fueling of these vehicles with hydrogen is typically done at 350 bar. Usually hydrogen is delivered as a bundle of high pressure gas cylinders. To be able to empty the delivered hydrogen bundles and to ensure vehicle fueling at 350 bar an oil-free compressor has to be used causing many disadvantages (high maintenance efforts, low degree of compression, investment). 

The Austrian company has been engaged in the development and production of renewable energy solutions for many years. It has successfully developed an electrolysis system which produces hydrogen at a pressure of 350 bar and high purity perfect for fuel cells. No mechanical compressor is needed for fueling. It is a modular, scalable system (the number of modules is chosen according to the required amount of hydrogen per day) which can be easily installed in a container environment for meeting the fuel demand of the customer.

In the electrolyser unit feed water is transformed at the anode, operated at ambient pressure, into oxygen and hydrogen ions. The hydrogen ions pass through the PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) to the cathode and are deoxidised to gaseous hydrogen. The pressure of 350 bar at the cathode is formed by the hydrogen via a back pressure controller. The compression is performed at isothermal conditions (at a constant temperature of 80°C) which results in a very high system efficiency compared to mechanical compression. Excess feed water is recycled in the process resulting in reduced feedwater demand.

Technical details of one module:
- power supply: 32 kW / 400 VAC
- hydrogen production: 8.7 kg / day
- water supply: 150 l/ day
- process temperature: 80°C
- dimensions length/width/height: 1100/700/1900 mm
- complies ISO 22734-1:2008

Application areas:
- for fueling of vehicles with hydrogen fuel cells: industrial trucks, forklifts, mobile work machines (such as vehicle hoists, cleaning machines etc.), municipal vehicles (city buses, garbage trucks, street sweepers), tractors etc.
- for providing hydrogen for stationary industrial applications: metallurgy, semiconductor industry, food industry (production of margarine), etc.

The Austrian company is looking for:
- manufacturer of plants for the above mentioned stationary industrial applications for system integration (technical cooperation)
- logistics provider, operator of municipal vehicles, utility companies, metallurgical industry, manufacturer of semiconductors, margarine etc. for application of the novel system (commercial agreements with technical assistance)
- manufacturer of innovative components for PEM electrolysis for subcontracting;

Advantages and Innovations

The main innovative aspect is the electrolysis technology on industrial scale producing hydrogen with 350 bar without any compressor.

The advantages are:
- independence from external hydrogen provider due to own hydrogen production
- reduced quantity of stored hydrogen and minimized risk
- no investment in mechanical compressor (and no backup compressor for high availability)
- no high maintenance for oil-free compressor
- higher system efficiency compared to alternative system of low pressure electrolysis with compressor
- perfect product gas quality for PEM fuel cells
- modular, scalable system
- optimized grid operation (high partload and dynamic load cycle capability)
- the system is certified according to ISO 22734-1:2008
- 60-80°C byproduct heat
- integrated safety concept (integrated monitoring of gas leakage)

Stage Of Development

Field tested/evaluated

Stage Of Development Comment

Modules producing hydrogen with a pressure of 165 bar have been successfully field tested for 2 years. For modules with 350 bar field tests have started.

Requested partner

Specific area of activity of the partner:

1) manufacturer of hydrogen production plants, semiconductor production plants, contact reactors, plants for metallurgy or food production (margarine) for system integration;

2) logistics provider, operator of municipal vehicles, utility companies (power to gas), metallurgical industry, manufacturer of semiconductors, margarine etc. for using the novel system for high quality hydrogen production;

3) manufacturer of components for PEM electrolysis systems (sensors, humidifiers, valves etc.) for subcontracting;

Task to be performed by the partner:

1) technical cooperation: partners willing to integrate the electrolysis system into their plant production; the Austrian company provides support for dimensioning, system integration, engineering, adaptations for new applications etc.

2) commercial agreement with technical assistance: partners willing to apply the novel system; the Austrian company provides training, maintenance and technical service to the partner;

3) manufacturing agreement: partners able to provide new innovative components for the further development and optimization of the electrolysis system;

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