LC-H2: Low-cost hydrogen production with high-efficiency alkaline electrolysis

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LC-H2: Low-cost hydrogen production with high-efficiency alkaline electrolysis

The increasing demand for green hydrogen means that there is a crucial need for cost-effective and scalable technologies for green hydrogen production.

The LC-H2 project aims to revolutionize the market for green hydrogen by improving the efficiency of alkaline electrolysis cells and thus reducing the production costs per liter of green hydrogen. This will be achieved through a combination of optimizing electrodes and bipolar plates in the electrolyser cells, which combined should result in a doubling of the current density in the cell stack. Neutron imaging and modeling techniques are used to eliminate inflow and outflow bottlenecks in the cell to support further optimization of cell efficiency, especially at high current densities.

The role of the Danish Technological Institute in LC-H2

To achieve the desired improvements in the electrolyser cell, there is a need for in-depth understanding of the hydrogen formation on the electrode surface as well as the liquid and gas flow in the cell. Using advanced neutron radiography, which provides unique opportunities to study gas in water, the hydrogen formation can be imaged in an electrolysis cell operating under realistic conditions. The Danish Technological Institute's role in the LC-H2 project is precisely to support and carry out neutron radiography measurements of electrolyser cells operated at different current densities and liquid flows. The data will show exactly where on the electrode the hydrogen is formed and how the hydrogen bubbles subsequently move in the liquid. The neutron images will thus make it possible to identify bottlenecks in the hydrogen formation process. In addition to the direct insight into the dynamics of the electrolyser cell, the results from the neutron radiography measurements will also serve as critical input for the creation, calibration and verification of a digital twin of the electrolyser cell.

Green hydrogen production on a large scale

The project is expected to further increase the competitiveness of green hydrogen production on a large scale. By improving the efficiency of the electrolyser cells and reducing the costs of the cell stacks, the project can help accelerate the transition to the goal of 100% renewable energy through less expensive power-to-x (PtX) solutions. This will not only reduce dependence on fossil fuels, but also help to reduce total CO2 emissions, which is crucial to meet the climate challenges. Successful implementation of the project's results will furthermore have positive economic outcomes for the Danish society in terms of job creation and strengthening Denmark’s position as a pioneer within PtX.

Facts about the project

The LC-H2 project runs from April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2026, and has a total budget of DKK 14 million. The project is a Grand-Solution project supported by Innovation Fund Denmark and has participation from both knowledge and industry partners. The knowledge partners are Aarhus University and the Danish Technological Institute, while the industry is represented by Advanced Surface Plating and their parent company HydrogenPro.