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Title: Development and testing of a PEM SO 2-depolarized electrolyzer and an operating method that prevents sulfur accumulation

The hybrid sulfur (HyS) cycle is being developed as a technology to generate hydrogen by splitting water, using heat and electrical power from a nuclear or solar power plant. A key component is the SO 2-depolarized electrolysis (SDE) cell, which reacts SO 2 and water to form hydrogen and sulfuric acid. SDE could also be used in once-through operation to consume SO 2 and generate hydrogen and sulfuric acid for sale. A proton exchange membrane (PEM) SDE cell based on a PEM fuel cell design was fabricated and tested. Measured cell potential as a function of anolyte pressure and flow rate, sulfuric acid concentration, and cell temperature are presented for this cell. Sulfur accumulation was observed inside the cell, which could have been a serious impediment to further development. A method to prevent sulfur formation was subsequently developed. As a result, this was made possible by a testing facility that allowed unattended operation for extended periods.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2015-00293
Journal ID: ISSN 0360-3199; PII: S0360319915021370
Grant/Contract Number:
AC09-08SR22470
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 40; Journal Issue: 39; Journal ID: ISSN 0360-3199
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN; electrolysis; hybrid sulfur cycle; SO2-depolarized electrolysis; sulfuric acid
OSTI Identifier:
1252476
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1250047

Steimke, John L., Steeper, Timothy J., Colon-Mercado, Hector R., and Gorensek, Maximilian B.. Development and testing of a PEM SO2-depolarized electrolyzer and an operating method that prevents sulfur accumulation. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.08.041.
Steimke, John L., Steeper, Timothy J., Colon-Mercado, Hector R., & Gorensek, Maximilian B.. Development and testing of a PEM SO2-depolarized electrolyzer and an operating method that prevents sulfur accumulation. United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.08.041.
Steimke, John L., Steeper, Timothy J., Colon-Mercado, Hector R., and Gorensek, Maximilian B.. 2015. "Development and testing of a PEM SO2-depolarized electrolyzer and an operating method that prevents sulfur accumulation". United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.08.041. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1252476.
@article{osti_1252476,
title = {Development and testing of a PEM SO2-depolarized electrolyzer and an operating method that prevents sulfur accumulation},
author = {Steimke, John L. and Steeper, Timothy J. and Colon-Mercado, Hector R. and Gorensek, Maximilian B.},
abstractNote = {The hybrid sulfur (HyS) cycle is being developed as a technology to generate hydrogen by splitting water, using heat and electrical power from a nuclear or solar power plant. A key component is the SO2-depolarized electrolysis (SDE) cell, which reacts SO2 and water to form hydrogen and sulfuric acid. SDE could also be used in once-through operation to consume SO2 and generate hydrogen and sulfuric acid for sale. A proton exchange membrane (PEM) SDE cell based on a PEM fuel cell design was fabricated and tested. Measured cell potential as a function of anolyte pressure and flow rate, sulfuric acid concentration, and cell temperature are presented for this cell. Sulfur accumulation was observed inside the cell, which could have been a serious impediment to further development. A method to prevent sulfur formation was subsequently developed. As a result, this was made possible by a testing facility that allowed unattended operation for extended periods.},
doi = {10.1016/j.ijhydene.2015.08.041},
journal = {International Journal of Hydrogen Energy},
number = 39,
volume = 40,
place = {United States},
year = {2015},
month = {9}
}