Researchers and engineers from four partner companies have launched a new electrolysis project which seeks to make power-to-gas methods of hydrogen (H2) production commercially viable.

In conjunction with the UK-based engineering partner IAV, the Zentrum für Sonnenenergie-und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), the Reiner Lemoine Institut (RLI) and Wasserelektrolyse Hydrotechnik (HT) have launched the ‘ecoPtG’ project.

The four companies have developed an alkaline water electrolyser with an output of 100Kw, which aims to demonstrate that carbon dioxide (CO2)-neutral H2 can be produced in a cost-effective manner, as well as facilitating the storage of electricity. The project has reduced the costs of H2 production through technology transfers from the automotive industry.

Partners IAV, ZSW, RLI and HT propose to make the 100kW electrolysis method fit for market by using simplified production processes and affordable materials, like plastics, to help combat high investment costs. By predominantly targeting automotive technology, such as power electronics and steering and sensor technologies which are mass-produced, the project seeks to transfer these technologies to using hydrogen as a generic standard.

Dr. Michael Specht, Head of ZSW’s Renewable Fuels and Processes Research Department, said, “Hydrogen is a key option in terms of future sustainable mobility and the success of the energy transition. The ZSW has thus been researching, constructing and operating electrolysis plants in megawatt dimensions for many years. In the context of the ‘ecoPtG’ project, we now aim to make this environmentally compatible technology more cost-effective.”

The ‘ecoPtG’ project has been granted €4.75m ($5.2m) in subsidies from The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology in Germany for this research.