Development of on-demand low temperature electrolysers and their systems

Symes, Daniel Robert (2015). Development of on-demand low temperature electrolysers and their systems. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Industrial alkaline electrolysers were electrochemically characterised and analysed on an internal combustion engine. These electrolysers exhibited low efficiencies, low gas flowrates and subsequently zero change in engine emissions due to the poor design and build. An improved alkaline electrolyser was designed, built and tested exhibiting improved efficiency/gas output compared to the industrial electrolysers and an improved reduction in emissions.
The increased power consumption of the electrolyser results in a rise in electrode degradation which is responsible for the decrease in electrode lifetime. A method for prolonging the electrode lifetime is proposed through a metallic “oxygen-getter”. Implementation of this has shown to prevent cathodic corrosion of the electrode material and thus reduces oxide layer formation. Electrode lifetime in an alkaline electrolyser increased, but the commercial trend is shifting towards the more attract PEM technology for electrolysis due to higher current densities, ability to handle variable input loads and non-caustic liquid requirement.
A commercial on-demand PEM electrolyser was tested and system designed for integration with an existing hydrogen refuelling station at the University of Birmingham. This mimicked the case for a distributed hydrogen system where the hydrogen is produced onsite for fuel cell vehicles resulting in a carbon neutral fuel.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemical Engineering
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Subjects: T Technology > TP Chemical technology


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