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Preliminary Study for the Commercialization of a Electrochemical Hydrogen Compressor


A global energy shift to a carbon‐neutral society requires clean energy. Hydrogen can accelerate the process of expanding clean and renewable energy sources. However, conventional hydrogen compression and storage technology still suffers from inefficiencies, high costs, and safety concerns. An electrochemical hydrogen compressor (EHC) is a device similar in structure to a water electrolyzer. Its most significant advantage is that it can accomplish hydrogen separation and compression at the same time. With no mechanical motion and low energy consumption, the EHC is the key to future hydrogen compression and purification technology breakthroughs. In this study, the compression performance, efficiency, and other related parameters of EHC are investigated through experiments and simulation calculations. The experimental results show that under the same experimental conditions, increasing the supply voltage and the pressure in the anode chamber can improve the reaction rate of EHC and balance the pressure difference between the cathode and anode. The presence of residual air in the anode can impede the interaction between hydrogen and the catalyst, as well as the proton exchange membrane (PEM), resulting in a decrease in performance. In addition, it was found that a single EHC has a better compression ratio and reaction rate than a double EHC. The experimental results were compatible with the theoretical calculations within less than a 7% deviation. Finally, the conditions required to reach commercialization were evaluated using the theoretical model.

Funding source: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (2019R1D1A3A03103616). This work was conducted during the research year of Chungbuk National University in 2022.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain

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