NewHydrogen, Inc., a developer of clean energy technologies, provided additional details of its previously announced sponsored research program at UCLA with a goal of lowering the cost of producing green hydrogen. Producing hydrogen economically and from renewable sources is a key component of a sustainable energy future.
Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers are typically used when the available green electricity supply is intermittent in nature such as solar or wind. PEM electrolyzers, however, currently require high-cost catalysts that use rare earth metals such as iridium. These precious metal-based catalysts are not only expensive but also need to be replaced quite often. NewHydrogen’s focus, therefore, is to replace iridium with much more stable non-precious metal-based oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalysts that not only cost less but also last much longer (and therefore do not need to be replaced as often).
The materials required for alkaline electrolyzers are relatively inexpensive compared to those for PEM electrolyzers. However, the alkaline electrolyzer technology is notably less efficient than that of PEM electrolyzers, thus requiring very large machinery to produce an equivalent amount of hydrogen. Anion exchange membrane (AEM) based electrolysis system attempts to combine alkaline electrolyzers’ cost savings with PEM’s performance. NewHydrogen is also developing hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) catalysts for use with AEM electrolyzers.
Extreme weather around the world is disrupting existing energy systems and reinforces the need to accelerate the timeline for a clean energy transition. CNBC’s recent report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) showed that the change in global surface temperature from 1850-2020 is greater than any period in more than 2000 years. The catastrophic weather patterns resulting from this change have created climate instability and severe damage around the world.
Along with industry leaders, NewHydrogen attended the recent U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Shot Summit, DOE's first Energy Earthshots Initiative. Research sponsored by NewHydrogen aims to support the DOE goal to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% to $1 per kilogram in a decade.
“One kilogram of hydrogen has the same energy potential as a gallon of gasoline, but hydrogen has the advantage of simply turning into water vapor when used as fuel,” said Dr. David Lee, NewHydrogen’s CEO. “Research funded by NewHydrogen is focused on lowering the cost of producing hydrogen from renewable sources, creating a clean energy source that does not pollute.”