CPH2 licenses membrane-free electrolyser for use alongside solar power plants

Article by Adam Duckett

CLEAN Power Hydrogen (CPH2) has signed a license agreement with solar power venture GHFG to build its membrane-free electrolyser technology in Ireland.

GHFG, a joint venture between renewables power firm Alternus Energy and solar company Soleirtricity, have signed a licence to construct 2 GW of membrane-free electrolysers over a period of up to 20 years. Plans are to make the electrolysers at a new facility in Ireland and install them alongside solar energy projects owned by Alternus. Using solar power, the electrolysers will produce hydrogen that can be used to decarbonise heavy industry and transport.

CPH2’s technology lacks the membranes used in conventional proton exchange membrane electrolysers and alkaline electrolysers. The company claims the lack of a membrane improves reliability and reduces both the investment and operating cost. Its system decomposes water into hydrogen and oxygen gases in the form of bubbles. These are carried on a stream of aqueous alkaline electrolyte to a separating tower where the mixed gases are separated from the electrolyte. The electrolyte is recirculated back to the reactor stack while the mixed gas stream passes through a drying system and into the company’s patented cryogenic separation system where the oxygen is distilled out. The company says this produces highly-pure streams of liquefied oxygen and gaseous hydrogen.

These are then fed through a heat exchanger system to transfer the cooling energy to the incoming mixed gas stream to save on energy use. The hydrogen and oxygen gases then emerge from the system at close to ambient temperature. This is CPH2’s first deal for another firm to produce its technology. It has its own manufacturing facility in Doncaster, UK, and agreed a partnership in 2020 with renewable energy project developer B9 Energy to jointly manufacture in Northern Ireland.

Jon Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of CPH2, said: “A core component of our business model is licensing out production to other companies, whilst also producing a certain number of units ourselves. By 2030, our goal is to produce approximately 1 GW at CPH2 facilities and 3 GW under licence. Our licensing model will help facilitate our growth strategy and accelerate market penetration to scale the business globally by providing a long-term revenue stream for CPH2, without the need for major upfront capex."

Eric Whelan, CEO of GHFG, said: “Through this joint venture, GHFG will be responsible for the production of electrolysers to match the deployment of new Alternus solar projects where the addition of green hydrogen generation makes sense. It will also provide more direct control over the supply chain.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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