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A Review of Hydrogen Purification Technologies for Fuel Cell Vehicles


Nowadays, we face a series of global challenges, including the growing depletion of fossil energy, environmental pollution, and global warming. The replacement of coal, petroleum, and natural gas by secondary energy resources is vital for sustainable development. Hydrogen (H2 ) energy is considered the ultimate energy in the 21st century because of its diverse sources, cleanliness, low carbon emission, flexibility, and high efficiency. H2 fuel cell vehicles are commonly the end-point application of H2 energy. Owing to their zero carbon emission, they are gradually replacing traditional vehicles powered by fossil fuel. As the H2 fuel cell vehicle industry rapidly develops, H2 fuel supply, especially H2 quality, attracts increasing attention. Compared with H2 for industrial use, the H2 purity requirements for fuel cells are not high. Still, the impurity content is strictly controlled since even a low amount of some impurities may irreversibly damage fuel cells’ performance and running life. This paper reviews different versions of current standards concerning H2 for fuel cell vehicles in China and abroad. Furthermore, we analyze the causes and developing trends for the changes in these standards in detail. On the other hand, according to characteristics of H2 for fuel cell vehicles, standard H2 purification technologies, such as pressure swing adsorption (PSA), membrane separation and metal hydride separation, were analyzed, and the latest research progress was reviewed.

Funding source: This research was funded by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2019YFB1505000) and the Technology Innovation Project of China Energy Investment (Project Number: GJNY-19-136).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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