Semcon is collaborating with Norwegian company Hystar to develop new technology for hydrogen gas production. The project aims to increase the amount of hydrogen gas that can be produced through electrolysis by over 150% compared to current electrolyser technology – without using more energy. To produce renewable green hydrogen gas is identified as a priority by the EU and crucial to achieving the European Green Deal.
“The electrolyser technology we’re developing together will allow Hystar to produce highly energy efficient electrolyser stacks, with the potential to reduce the capital cost of electrolysis by up to 60%. This is something that the world really needs”, says Tommy Ekman, Technical Lead and Project Manager at Semcon.
Traditional production processes, in which hydrogen gas is produced from natural gas, emit large amounts of CO2. A more eco friendly alternative is water electrolysis, in which electricity is used to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. When electricity from renewable sources is used for this process, the result is classified as green hydrogen.
“Green hydrogen is key for the energy transition and provides a possibility to fully utilise renewable energy sources in the decarbonisation of various sectors,” says Tommy Ekman.
Hydrogen can be used not only as a fuel in fuel cells to decarbonize the transport sector – in particular, heavy transport segments such as trucks, boats, and machinery – but it can also be used to decarbonise industry. A good example is the steel production industry, where hydrogen can be used for heating or directly as a reducing agent.
An important component in the EU’s climate strategy
The recently published EU strategy for hydrogen gas identifies renewable, green hydrogen gas as crucial to achieving the European Green Deal – one of the European Commission’s six priorities for the years 2019–2024.
The aim of the project is to develop a new generation of electrolysers that contain new design concepts for components, all in order to have the possibility to scale production depending on the needs. This has resulted in the project being conducted as a research and development project, where the challenges are handled in an interdisciplinary manner with significant analysis, experiments, and input from various experts.
“We are very happy to be able to work with Semcon. They have specialist expertise in many areas that complement what we have internally, and they can contribute with exactly the right person when the need arises,” says Magnus Thomassen, CPO and Co-founder of Hystar.
The aim is that Hystar’s products can soon be used in many different industries as well as for fuel in all forms of transportation.