Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Tests Prove Electrolytic Cells Are Stable at 850 Degrees

Siemens researchers have demonstrated the long-term stability of ceramic electrolytic cells that are used to produce hydrogen.

The results represent a step in the development of new energy storage systems. The use of electricity to generate hydrogen is considered to be a key technology for the storage of surplus energy from renewable sources. It could also play a crucial role in the transition of the energy system and the stabilization of grids.

As a result, Siemens' Industry Sector is developing and producing electrolyzers whose polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) cells generate hydrogen at high pressure and temperatures under 100 degrees Celsius.

In a project funded by the German Ministry of Economics, scientists at Siemens' global research unit Corporate Technology (CT) have now also investigated high-temperature electrolysis. This technology could be more efficient than the conventional approach, since electrolysis reactions require a much lower cell voltage at high temperatures.

Another interesting property of high-temperature electrolysis is that the flow of the electricity can be reversed, allowing users to switch back and forth between efficient electrolysis processes and fuel cell operation. Such a system could use natural gas, biogas, or hydrogen to generate electricity or produce combined heat and power.

A future high-temperature electrolyzer could also be coupled with a system for synthesizing chemicals such as methane. The resulting waste heat could be used to generate the water vapor needed for high-temperature electrolysis. According to the researchers' simulations, hydrogen generation and methane synthesis would each have an efficiency of about 75 percent relative to their respective calorific values. This already takes into account the compression of the gases to 80 bars.

In the project, the CT researchers worked together with the ceramics manufacturer Kerafol and Forschungszentrum Jülich to optimize electrochemical cells that use an oxygen ion-conducting electrolyte as a substrate. The main challenge was to prevent the oxygen electrode from becoming detached, which had previously caused aging effects.

The researchers improved the electrode's stability by making it from a material that conducts electrons as well as oxygen ions. In a CT lab in Erlangen, ceramic electrolytic cells ran for more than 8,000 hours at 850 degrees Celsius. The cells had a current density of 0.5 amperes per square centimeter and a cell voltage of up to 1.1 volts. In this endurance test, the researchers noticed that the voltage-related aging amounted to only 0.2 percent per 1,000 hours of operation.

The researchers also demonstrated a concept for constructing the cell stacks. However, further development work is needed before larger cell stacks will have a sufficiently high level of long-term stability. The presentation of the lab results at project's sponsor brought the work on the three-year project's technology to a successful conclusion.

Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Further information:

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Tandem solar cells are simply better
23.11.2015 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht ORNL microscopy captures real-time view of evolving fuel cell catalysts
20.11.2015 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

Im Focus: Laser process simulation available as app for first time

In laser material processing, the simulation of processes has made great strides over the past few years. Today, the software can predict relatively well what will happen on the workpiece. Unfortunately, it is also highly complex and requires a lot of computing time. Thanks to clever simplification, experts from Fraunhofer ILT are now able to offer the first-ever simulation software that calculates processes in real time and also runs on tablet computers and smartphones. The fast software enables users to do without expensive experiments and to find optimum process parameters even more effectively.

Before now, the reliable simulation of laser processes was a job for experts. Armed with sophisticated software packages and after many hours on computer...

Im Focus: Quantum Simulation: A Better Understanding of Magnetism

Heidelberg physicists use ultracold atoms to imitate the behaviour of electrons in a solid

Researchers at Heidelberg University have devised a new way to study the phenomenon of magnetism. Using ultracold atoms at near absolute zero, they prepared a...

Im Focus: Climate Change: Warm water is mixing up life in the Arctic

AWI researchers’ unique 15-year observation series reveals how sensitive marine ecosystems in polar regions are to change

The warming of arctic waters in the wake of climate change is likely to produce radical changes in the marine habitats of the High North. This is indicated by...

Im Focus: Nanocarriers may carry new hope for brain cancer therapy

Berkeley Lab researchers develop nanoparticles that can carry therapeutics across the brain blood barrier

Glioblastoma multiforme, a cancer of the brain also known as "octopus tumors" because of the manner in which the cancer cells extend their tendrils into...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

Gluten oder nicht Gluten? Überempfindlichkeit auf Weizen kann unterschiedliche Ursachen haben

17.11.2015 | Event News

Art Collection Deutsche Börse zeigt Ausstellung „Traces of Disorder“

21.10.2015 | Event News

Siemens Healthcare introduces the Cios family of mobile C-arms

20.10.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Siemens offers concrete solution portfolio for Industrie 4.0 with Digital Enterprise

24.11.2015 | Trade Fair News

Compact, rugged, three-phase power supplies for worldwide use

24.11.2015 | Trade Fair News

Sensor sees nerve action as it happens

24.11.2015 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>