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Hydrogen Fuel Quality from Two Main Production Processes: Steam Methane Reforming and Proton Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysis


The absence of contaminants in the hydrogen delivered at the hydrogen refuelling station is critical to ensure the length life of FCEV. Hydrogen quality has to be ensured according to the two international standards ISO 14687–2:2012 and ISO/DIS 19880-8. Amount fraction of contaminants from the two hydrogen production processes steam methane reforming and PEM water electrolyser is not clearly documented. Twenty five different hydrogen samples were taken and analysed for all contaminants listed in ISO 14687-2. The first results of hydrogen quality from production processes: PEM water electrolysis with TSA and SMR with PSA are presented. The results on more than 16 different plants or occasions demonstrated that in all cases the 13 compounds listed in ISO 14687 were below the threshold of the international standards. Several contaminated hydrogen samples demonstrated the needs for validated and standardised sampling system and procedure. The results validated the probability of contaminants presence proposed in ISO/DIS 19880-8. It will support the implementation of ISO/ DIS 19880-8 and the development of hydrogen quality control monitoring plan. It is recommended to extend the study to other production method (i.e. alkaline electrolysis), the HRS supply chain (i.e. compressor) to support the technology growth.

Funding source: The study was funded by The Joint Research Project « Metrology for sustainable hydrogen energy applications » HYDROGEN which is supported by the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR). The EMPIR initiative is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain

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