http://www.greencarcongress.com/2018/04/20180418-amplats.htmlAnglo American Platinum, Shell invest in HyET for electrochemical hydrogen compression
Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), alongside Shell Technology Ventures (STV), has taken a stake in High-Yield Energy Technologies (HyET) (earlier post), a Dutch company that has developed cost-effective electrochemical hydrogen compression (EHC) technology. HyET’s technology is a reliable substitute for mechanical hydrogen compression both in existing industrial applications and in hydrogen refueling stations (HRS).
HyET’s latest compressor, the HCS-100, compresses hydrogen by forcing the gas through a platinum-based membrane to reach pressures of up to 1,000 bar (100 MPa) while ensuring its simultaneous purification. With no moving parts, the HCS-100 operates at a fraction of the cost of, and is more reliable than, current mechanical compressors. . . .
In 2017, the HyET team reported the development of new, fully aromatic hydrocarbon membrane enabling even more efficient compression trough higher throughput and minimied parasitic losses (back diffusion), thus reducing the operation cost significantly for hydrogen compression. Besides its use in the electrochemical compressor, the newly developed membrane may also have merit in other electrochemical applications, such as electrolyzers and fuel cells, the developers noted.
Highly compressed hydrogen can store a large amount of energy, much more than conventional batteries. As a comparison: a car drives approximately 100 km on 1kg of compressed hydrogen, whilst it drives a mere 1km on the energy stored in 1kg of batteries. The ability to cost-effectively and reliably compress hydrogen will play an important part in accelerating the adoption of FCEVs and other vehicles such as fuel cell powered trucks and buses. . . .
Assuming the claims are accurate (always questionable when a company's touting a product) and they can commercialize this, it would be one of the step changes needed to reduce H2 costs to gas/diesel competitive levels. Still needed is a step reduction in H2 production costs, but this would substantially reduce the operating costs of H2 stations. The question is what are the relative capital costs between standard compressors and this equipment?