The group "Hydrogen Technologies" of Fraunhofer IKTS researches strategies for decarbonization. We develop industrially feasible solutions for the hydrogen economy, working on two focal points:
Hydrogen process technology and qualification of existing technologies
This includes process engineering support for hydrogen-based technologies, such as PtX plants. In this context, automation also plays a role in core areas of electrolysis, for example in the production and scaling of SOEC/SOFC stacks. We also accompany partners from traditional industrial sectors, such as the ceramics or automotive industries, to qualify production and manufacturing processes for sustainable technologies and decarbonization. In this context, a hydrogen furnace with a volume of 500 liters is available at Fraunhofer IKTS for testing in ceramic production.
Development of electrochemical flow cell reactors as core components of electrolyzers
Core components of PEM, AEM and alkaline electrolysis are electrochemical flow cell reactors – mostly in filter press design. These so-called stacks are one of the neuralgic points in the market ramp-up of the hydrogen economy. For this purpose, IKTS develops materials and components that are incorporated into modern, cutting-edge stack designs. One research objective is to achieve high current densities and efficiencies while expanding the process engineering framework for electrolysis. Thus, new materials can enable entirely new forms of technology. This is coupled with a broad portfolio of targeted analytics.
These focal points are also part of the hydrogen application center WaTTh, where, among other things, the scaling and Industry 4.0 capability of electrolyzer production will be advanced. This fits seamlessly into the concept of the Battery Innovation and Technology Center BITC in Arnstadt at Erfurter Kreuz.
- Research into components for PEM, AEM and alkaline electrolysis: from zero-gap to medium temperature
- Stack design development: from CAD to simulation to manufacturing
- Analytical electrochemistry on single cells and stacks (e.g. impedance spectroscopy or long-term tests according to EU protocol)
- Development of automated production for electrolyzers, fuel cell stacks and batteries
- Production of SOEC/SOFC systems incl. high-temperature feeding
- Concepts for alkaline electrolysis, PEM/AEM systems or redox flow batteries
- Active areas of up to 1 m2
- Integration of inline, sideline and stand-alone analytics
- Test field for electrolyzers and power-to-X, incl. process engineering support
- Application- and industry-oriented setup in 40-foot containers up to 100 kW
- Establishment of ceramic sintering and burning processes in hydrogen furnace (500 l), parameter studies, conceptual analyses and energy-economic evaluation