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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Emerging technologies, markets and commercialization of solid‐electrolytic hydrogen production

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Around 60 million tons of hydrogen are generated globally each year, 96% of which is produced from fossil fuels. Very little hydrogen is used as energy media; instead, it is most commonly used in nonenergy‐related applications, such as the production of ammonia, fertilizer, methanol and other chemicals, the petrochemical industry, and the hydrogenation of products. However, there is a clear global shift in the use of hydrogen, which is now rapidly developing as a renewable fuel for both stationary and transport applications. Hydrogen can be transported in compressed form at high pressures, in liquid form at –253°C, or more conveniently converted to liquid fuels for easy transportation from locations high in renewable‐energy intensity to areas scarce in renewable resources. In the last 5 years there has been a significant advancement in the scale of solid‐electrolyte demonstrations with a number of megawatt (MW) class products under operation for onsite hydrogen generation, power to gas networks, and storage at multiple sites. This manuscript, building on our previous WIRES publication, discusses the commercialization status of renewable hydrogen‐generation technologies, along with advances in research and development linked to electrolytic hydrogen generation, use, and transportation in the form of liquid fuels such as ammonia, methanol, or dimethyl ether. This article is categorized under: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen > Science and Materials Fuel Cells and Hydrogen > Systems and Infrastructure
A schematic of new concepts for hydrogen production via solid‐electrolytic routes. MeOH, methanol; EtOH, ethanol; PV, photo voltaic; CSP, concentrated solar power
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Schematic of electrochemical CO2 conversion based on (a) a polymer‐electrolyte membrane cell (40–80°C) and (b) a ceramic‐electrolyte membrane cell (700–1000°C), with electricity from a renewable‐energy (RE) source. The associated anodic and cathodic reactions and the overall products formed are also shown
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Schematic of electrochemical ammonia‐synthesis process employing a proton‐conducting polymer or ceramic‐electrolyte membrane, with electricity from a renewable‐energy (RE) source. The associated anodic and cathodic reactions are also shown. ASU, air separation unit
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(a) CRI GO Plant Overview: Carbon Recycling International (CRI) CO2‐to‐methanol production plant, near Grindavik, Iceland (CRI, ). The CRI plant performs one step hydrogenation of CO2 captured from the HS Orka Svartsengi geothermal power plant, seen in the background. (b) Fleet of Geely Emgrand cars operating in Iceland on 100% renewable methanol in front of the CRI CO2‐to‐methanol production plant. Images courtesy of CRI
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Schematic of ammonia, methanol, and dimethyl ether (DME) synthesis using hydrogen feedstock from a solid‐state electrolyser operated by electricity from a renewable‐energy (RE) source. The associated overall reactions are also shown for each synthesis process. ASU, air separation unit
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The Siemens Mainz energy park. This system includes 6 MW of electrolyser and 780 kg of hydrogen storage. Image reproduced from: Energiepark Mainz (http://www.energiepark‐mainz.de/en/project/pictures/)
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(a) The E.ON / Hydrogenics 2‐MW power to gas facility in Falkenhagen, Germany—Image reproduced from: https://www.eon.com/en/about‐us/media/press‐releases.html and (b) ITM Power / Thüga Group's HGas power‐to‐gas Energy storage demonstration plant, Frankfurt, Germany—Image courtesy of ITM Power (http://www.itm-power.com)
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Hydrogen refueling stations. (a), (b): Images courtesy of ITM Power (www.itm‐power.com), (c): Image courtesy of California Fuel Cell Partnership, and (d) Image courtesy of Hyundai Australia
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Grid‐connected, solar–hydrogen fuel cell hybrid storage system at CSIRO's Centre for Hybrid Energy Systems, Melbourne, Australia. CSIRO is developing and demonstrating hybrid‐energy systems based on solar PV, electrolysis, hydrogen and battery storage, and fuel cells for a range of applications
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Proton Onsite hydrogen bus‐fuelling station. Image reproduced with permission from Proton OnSite
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Operating principles of low‐ and high‐temperature coelectrolysis processes assisted by the addition of an energy carrier
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