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Green H2 Production by Water Electrolysis Using Cation Exchange Membrane: Insights on Activation and Ohmic Polarization Phenomena


Low-temperature electrolysis by using polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) can play an important role in hydrogen energy transition. This work presents a study on the performance of a proton exchange membrane in the water electrolysis process at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. In the perspective of applications that need a device with small volume and low weight, a miniaturized electrolysis cell with a 36 cm2 active area of PEM over a total surface area of 76 cm2 of the device was used. H2 and O2 production rates, electrical power, energy efficiency, Faradaic efficiency and polarization curves were determined for all experiments. The effects of different parameters such as clamping pressure and materials of the electrodes on polarization phenomena were studied. The PEM used was a catalyst-coated membrane (Ir-Pt-Nafion™ 117 CCM). The maximum H2 production was about 0.02 g min−1 with a current density of 1.1 A cm−2 and a current power about 280 W. Clamping pressure and the type of electrode materials strongly influence the activation and ohmic polarization phenomena. High clamping pressure and electrodes in titanium compared to carbon electrodes improve the cell performance, and this results in lower ohmic and activation resistances.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Italy

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