Projects // PRETZEL


Developing polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis into a key technology for the storage of renewable energies

Project objective

Green hydrogen produced through electrolysis, when used as fuel, could become the crosslink between the energy sector, the industry and transportation, and thus become a key factor in the implementation of renewable energies. Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis is in this respect a promising technology. However, this technology has yet to achieve the key indicators regarding costs, efficiency, durability, and operability. The objective of the project team is to develop a 25kW PEM electrolysis system, and make advances in key areas, thus lowering production costs.

Computer graphic of the newly developed high-pressure PEM electrolysis stack
Computer graphic of the newly developed high-pressure PEM electrolysis stack

Project innovation

The new system is based on an innovative cell concept, which achieves a hydrogen production pressure of up to 100bar. The stack is assembled using the hydraulic single cell compression principle developed at the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences. Additionally, the team will realise improvements to the individual components, in order to make them operable in conditions of high temperatures and current density. Production costs can be reduced using base metal coatings on pole plates, and especial catalyst carrier materials to optimise the utilisation of noble metals. At the same time, the project aims to optimise the other components of the electrolysis system regarding costs and reliability. The hydrogen produced in the electrolysis process will be integrated into the laboratory infrastructure of one of the project partners and will be used, for example, in fuel cell testing stations.

To evaluate performance and operational parameters in a continuous way, the new stack system will be integrated into a test station. The project results will be evaluated and published in order to lay the groundwork for the technology’s market break-through.

Information on funding and further project participants

Funding code: 779478

DLR - German Aerospace Center
Centre for Research and Technology Hellas
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking
Eu nrw
Adamant Composites Ltd.
Soluciones Cataliticas IBERCAT S.L.
GKN Sinter Metals Engineering GmbH
Politehnica University Timisoara