Korean Researchers Develop Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Utilizing A Membrane Which Conducts Both Protons and Oxygen Ions in the Hope of Improving the SOEC Hydrogen Evolution Rate

Some Korean researchers have developed a solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) for the production of hydrogen from water that uses a mixed ion conductor which allows both protons and oxygen ions to move between the two electrodes, thus allowing hydrogen and oxygen production at both electrodes. The stories I have read do not really clarify the potential performance advantages of such a design, but my impression is that it might allow higher hydrogen production rates for a given quantity of electrode material thus potentially lowering costs. SOECs are potentially more energy efficient (i.e. they require a smaller input of electrical energy to produce a given amount of hydrogen) than alkaline or PEM electrolyzers. However, capital cost and long term reliability issues have kept them from entering commercial markets. Whether of not this new design will help SOECs to overcome these limitations remains to be seen.

Jan 7, 2018

rogerkb at energystoragenews dot com