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Development of a hybrid hydrogen compressor : electrochemical at low pressure/ adsorption at high pressure

Abstract : The proof of concept of a non-mechanical hydrogen compressor has been carried out in the present study. It is a hybrid compressor since it consists of: (i) a first electrochemical compression step, which compresses hydrogen from 1 bar up to 40-80 bar and; (ii) a second compression step based on the thermally-driven cyclic adsorption-desorption which allows compressing hydrogen up to 700 bar. Numerical models have been developed to verify the feasibility of such a system, and their validity has been proved by the experimental data obtained with the prototypes built for each of the two compression stages. Concerning the electrochemical compressor, a current density distribution along the electrochemical was observed using a segmented cell, and the developed pseudo-2D model proved that the stability of the current density strictly depends on the local water content of the membrane. Indeed, the current density was found to decrease from 0.75 A/cm2 to 0.65 A/cm2 between the first and the last segment of the compressor, which corresponds to a decrease of the relative humidity in the inlet hydrogen flow from 90% to 55% along the gas channels at the anode side (at 0.66 A/cm2 x 0.36 V and 333 K). Concerning the adsorption-desorption compressor, the Modified Dubinin-Astakhov model (MDA) was implemented to describe hydrogen adsorption on activated carbons as a function of the temperature and the pressure. It was used along with the mass and the energy balance equations to study the feasibility of such a compressor. The results from the numerical simulation were validated with the experimental data, which were obtained using a prototype of 0.5 L, designed and built for the present study, and containing 0.135 kg of the activated carbon MSC-30 (Kansai, Japan). 30 NL/h of high-pressure hydrogen at 700 bar were obtained when introducing hydrogen at 80 bar into the compressor, previously cooled to 77 K, and when heating it up to 315 K. The proposed hybrid hydrogen compressor could be a valid alternative to traditional mechanical compressors, and it could be used in small and decentralized facilities using hydrogen as a fuel, e.g. a hydrogen refuelling station.
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Submitted on : Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 12:55:11 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 2:54:52 AM

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  • HAL Id : tel-02970054, version 1


Giuseppe Sdanghi. Development of a hybrid hydrogen compressor : electrochemical at low pressure/ adsorption at high pressure. Material chemistry. Université de Lorraine, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LORR0145⟩. ⟨tel-02970054⟩



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