Alkaline electrolysis as efficient as PEM technology for the production of hydrogen
Agfa announced that its ZIRFON membranes make alkaline electrolysis the most efficient technology for the production of hydrogen.
A recent study by the Fraunhofer Institute using Agfa’s ZIRFON separator membranes confirms that the Alkaline ElectroLysis (AEL) technology can be as efficient as the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology and is able to operate at high current densities. This presents AEL as the most cost efficient hydrogen production system.
As an electrolysis technology, AEL is confirmed by the study to have a higher efficiency than PEM but when comparing the efficiency of low temperature electrolyzer systems using respective technologies, PEM used to offer the advantage of operating at higher current densities.
The Fraunhofer report now also shows that when Zirfon membranes and quality electrodes are used, AEL is close to reaching the same current densities as PEM. This presents AEL as the most cost efficient hydrogen production system since both the material investment and operating cost (OPEX) for reaching this level of current densities are notably higher for PEM than AEL, especially in the case of large size installations.
Marc Van Damme, Agfa’s Vice President Electronic Print and Films & Foils, notes: “We are very pleased that independent scientific evidence confirms Agfa’s strategic choice for advanced alkaline electrolysis as the hydrogen production technology of the future.”
The study was performed and the report delivered by Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM, Branch Lab Dresden, Germany.