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Electrochemical hydrogen compression: A comparison to traditional mechanical compressors
© HyET Hydrogen

Electrochemical hydrogen compression: A comparison to traditional mechanical compressors

In the fast-growing market of hydrogen as energy carrier, the demand for hydrogen compression in the different applications is increasingly important and a critical factor in the hydrogen value chain. Although mechanical compressors are widely used to drive the compression of several gases, they are typically not suited for compression of hydrogen. Emerging technologies in the area of non-mechanical compressors and more specifically Electrochemical Hydrogen Compressors (EHC), have several advantages over mechanical pumping.

Hydrogen Compression Technologies

In general, hydrogen compressors can be divided into mechanical and non-mechanical compressors. Mechanical compressors have several disadvantages, such as the presence of many moving parts, susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement and a high-power consumption. Traditional compression technologies to pressurize hydrogen above pressure levels of 100 bar comprise of diaphragm and piston compressors. Therefore, these compressors are taken as the basis for the comparison with EHC.

Non-mechanical hydrogen compressors have proven to be a valid alternative to mechanical compressors. Among these, EHC allows isothermal, and therefore highly efficient, compression of hydrogen.

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