skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: HYBRID SULFUR ELECTROLYZER DEVELOPMENT FY09 SECOND QUARTER REPORT

Abstract

The primary objective of the DOE-NE Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI) is to develop the nuclear hydrogen production technologies necessary to produce hydrogen at a cost competitive with other alternative transportation fuels. The focus of the NHI is on thermochemical cycles and high temperature electrolysis that can be powered by heat from high temperature gas reactors. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has been tasked with the primary responsibility to perform research and development in order to characterize, evaluate and develop the Hybrid Sulfur (HyS) thermochemical process. This report documents work during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2009, for the period between January 1, 2009 and March 31, 2009. The HyS Process is a two-step hybrid thermochemical cycle that is part of the 'Sulfur Family' of cycles. As a sulfur cycle, it uses high temperature thermal decomposition of sulfuric acid to produce oxygen and to regenerate the sulfur dioxide reactant. The second step of the process uses a sulfur dioxide depolarized electrolyzer (SDE) to split water and produce hydrogen by electrochemically reacting sulfur dioxide with H{sub 2}O. The SDE produces sulfuric acid, which is then sent to the acid decomposer to complete the cycle. The DOE NHI program is developingmore » the acid decomposer at Sandia National Laboratory for application to both the HyS Process and the Sulfur Iodine Cycle. The SDE is being developed at SRNL. During FY05 and FY06, SRNL designed and conducted proof-of-concept testing for a SDE using a low temperature, PEM fuel cell-type design concept. The advantages of this design concept include high electrochemical efficiency, small footprint and potential for low capital cost, characteristics that are crucial for successful implementation on a commercial scale. During FY07, SRNL extended the range of testing of the SDE to higher temperature and pressure, conducted a 100-hour longevity test with a 60-cm{sup 2} single cell electrolyzer, and designed and built a larger, multi-cell stack electrolyzer. During FY08, SRNL continued SDE development, including development and successful testing of a three-cell electrolyzer stack with a rated capacity of 100 liters per hour. The HyS program for FY09 program will address improving SDE performance by focusing on preventing or minimizing sulfur deposition inside the cell caused by SO{sub 2} crossover, reduction of cell voltage for improved efficiency, an extension of cell operating lifetime. During FY09 a baseline technology development program is being conducted to address each of these issues. Button-cell (2-cm{sup 2}) and single cell (60-cm{sup 2}) SDEs will be fabricated and tested. A pressurized button-cell test facility will be designed and constructed to facilitate addition testing. The single cell test facility will be upgraded for unattended operation, and later for operation at higher temperature and pressure. Work will continue on development of the Gas Diffusion Electrode (GDE), or Gap Cell, as an alternative electrolyzer design approach that is being developed under subcontract with industry partner Giner Electrochemical Systems. If successful, it could provide an alternative means of preventing sulfur crossover through the proton exchange membrane, as well as the possibility for higher current density operation based on more rapid mass transfer in a gas-phase anode. Promising cell components will be assembled into membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and tested in the single cell test facility. Upon modification for unattended operation, test will be conducted for 200 hours or more. Both the button-cell and modified single cell facility will be utilized to demonstrate electrolyzer operation without sulfur build-up limitations, which is a Level 1 Milestone.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
951554
Report Number(s):
SRNL-L1200-2009-00002
TRN: US200912%%112
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; CAPITALIZED COST; CURRENT DENSITY; DESIGN; DIFFUSION; EFFICIENCY; ELECTRODES; ELECTROLYSIS; HYDROGEN; HYDROGEN PRODUCTION; IODINE; MASS TRANSFER; MEMBRANES; OXYGEN; PROTONS; PYROLYSIS; SULFUR CYCLE; SULFUR DIOXIDE; SULFURIC ACID; TESTING

Citation Formats

Herman, D, David Hobbs, D, Hector Colon-Mercado, H, Timothy Steeper, T, John Steimke, J, and Mark Elvington, M. HYBRID SULFUR ELECTROLYZER DEVELOPMENT FY09 SECOND QUARTER REPORT. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.2172/951554.
Herman, D, David Hobbs, D, Hector Colon-Mercado, H, Timothy Steeper, T, John Steimke, J, & Mark Elvington, M. HYBRID SULFUR ELECTROLYZER DEVELOPMENT FY09 SECOND QUARTER REPORT. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/951554
Herman, D, David Hobbs, D, Hector Colon-Mercado, H, Timothy Steeper, T, John Steimke, J, and Mark Elvington, M. 2009. "HYBRID SULFUR ELECTROLYZER DEVELOPMENT FY09 SECOND QUARTER REPORT". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/951554. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/951554.
@article{osti_951554,
title = {HYBRID SULFUR ELECTROLYZER DEVELOPMENT FY09 SECOND QUARTER REPORT},
author = {Herman, D and David Hobbs, D and Hector Colon-Mercado, H and Timothy Steeper, T and John Steimke, J and Mark Elvington, M},
abstractNote = {The primary objective of the DOE-NE Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI) is to develop the nuclear hydrogen production technologies necessary to produce hydrogen at a cost competitive with other alternative transportation fuels. The focus of the NHI is on thermochemical cycles and high temperature electrolysis that can be powered by heat from high temperature gas reactors. The Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has been tasked with the primary responsibility to perform research and development in order to characterize, evaluate and develop the Hybrid Sulfur (HyS) thermochemical process. This report documents work during the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2009, for the period between January 1, 2009 and March 31, 2009. The HyS Process is a two-step hybrid thermochemical cycle that is part of the 'Sulfur Family' of cycles. As a sulfur cycle, it uses high temperature thermal decomposition of sulfuric acid to produce oxygen and to regenerate the sulfur dioxide reactant. The second step of the process uses a sulfur dioxide depolarized electrolyzer (SDE) to split water and produce hydrogen by electrochemically reacting sulfur dioxide with H{sub 2}O. The SDE produces sulfuric acid, which is then sent to the acid decomposer to complete the cycle. The DOE NHI program is developing the acid decomposer at Sandia National Laboratory for application to both the HyS Process and the Sulfur Iodine Cycle. The SDE is being developed at SRNL. During FY05 and FY06, SRNL designed and conducted proof-of-concept testing for a SDE using a low temperature, PEM fuel cell-type design concept. The advantages of this design concept include high electrochemical efficiency, small footprint and potential for low capital cost, characteristics that are crucial for successful implementation on a commercial scale. During FY07, SRNL extended the range of testing of the SDE to higher temperature and pressure, conducted a 100-hour longevity test with a 60-cm{sup 2} single cell electrolyzer, and designed and built a larger, multi-cell stack electrolyzer. During FY08, SRNL continued SDE development, including development and successful testing of a three-cell electrolyzer stack with a rated capacity of 100 liters per hour. The HyS program for FY09 program will address improving SDE performance by focusing on preventing or minimizing sulfur deposition inside the cell caused by SO{sub 2} crossover, reduction of cell voltage for improved efficiency, an extension of cell operating lifetime. During FY09 a baseline technology development program is being conducted to address each of these issues. Button-cell (2-cm{sup 2}) and single cell (60-cm{sup 2}) SDEs will be fabricated and tested. A pressurized button-cell test facility will be designed and constructed to facilitate addition testing. The single cell test facility will be upgraded for unattended operation, and later for operation at higher temperature and pressure. Work will continue on development of the Gas Diffusion Electrode (GDE), or Gap Cell, as an alternative electrolyzer design approach that is being developed under subcontract with industry partner Giner Electrochemical Systems. If successful, it could provide an alternative means of preventing sulfur crossover through the proton exchange membrane, as well as the possibility for higher current density operation based on more rapid mass transfer in a gas-phase anode. Promising cell components will be assembled into membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and tested in the single cell test facility. Upon modification for unattended operation, test will be conducted for 200 hours or more. Both the button-cell and modified single cell facility will be utilized to demonstrate electrolyzer operation without sulfur build-up limitations, which is a Level 1 Milestone.},
doi = {10.2172/951554},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/951554}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {4}
}