Pillars of Progress: Technology – High-quality hydrogen, cost effectively produced

High-quality, high-purity and cost-effective hydrogen is essential for the commercial take off of fuel cells and other applications. The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is addressing this cost-vs-quality challenge through innovative projects to advance hydrogen quality assurance and purification technologies.

The composition of hydrogen depends on how it is sourced and produced. Feedstock, whether water, natural gas or biogas, and production methods, such as electrolysis, steam methane reforming or natural gas partial oxidation, can influence levels of pollutants. However, ensuring hydrogen meets minimum quality standards and purity levels above 99.9% for fuel cells and other applications entails higher production costs and additional quality assurance throughout the process.

The FCH JU is tackling these challenges with initiatives aimed at increasing purity, optimising standards and reducing costs. The HYCORA project conducted landmark research into maximum pollutant thresholds, reducing the cost of purification and contributing to updated international quality standards.

Building on that achievement, HYDRAITE project has set up the first three laboratories in Europe capable to test for all contaminants covered by the standards, and is looking for a method for in-line continuous monitoring of fuel quality at hydrogen dispensers.

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