Alkaline water electrolysis setup
Prof.dr.ir. J. van der Schaaf,
Department: Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Group: Chemical Reactor Engineering
The goal of the research is the investigation of the flexibility and productivity aspects of the alkaline water electrolysis process. This is done by process and fluid dynamics modeling, as well as experimental work. A laboratory setup is needed to perform the experimental work. The setup consists of an alkaline water electrolyser and the surrounding equipment that allows performing experiments at real industrial operating conditions, particularly at high pressure.
With this setup it is possible investigate the effect of operating conditions (temperature, pressure, flow-rates, etc) on the process performance. To evaluate the process performance we measure the current & voltage, amount of gases produced (gas flow rates) and purity of the gases (H2 in O2 and viceversa). It is also possible to investigate the flow dynamics of the gas/electrolyte mixtures, for instance by observing the flow behavior inside the electrolyser . Additionally it is possible to test different electrolyser designs and different components (namely electrodes and membranes).
The system is designed for a production rate of 22 g/hr of H2 gas.
- Operating conditions
- Pressure from 1 to 50 bar.
- The pressure is reduced to atmospheric after the gas cooling and washing, to be able to vent the gases at atmospheric pressure to the ventilation system.
- The pressure difference between the hydrogen and oxygen compartment of the setup can be controlled with an accuracy of 1 mbar.
- Temperature in the electrolyser controllable from room temperature to 90 °C.
- Total current range between 15 to 600 A, resulting in current densities in the range between 1 and 40 kA/m2.
- The equipment is built in compliance with European safety regulations.
- All safety critical operations are automated.
- In risk assessments all possible equipment and process deviations are pinpointed and necessary procedures to return to a safe situation are implemented and automated.