A membraneless Divergent Electrode-Flow-Through (DEFT™) alkaline electrolyser, for unlocking profitable hydrogen production by combining a simplistic, inexpensive, modular and durable design, capable of overcoming existing technology current density thresholds, is ideal for decentralised renewable hydrogen production, with the only requirement of electrolytic flow to facilitate high purity product gas separation.
Scale-up of the technology was performed, representing a deviation from the original tested stack design, incorporating elongated electrodes housed in a filter press assembly. The pilot plant operating parameters were limited to a low flow velocity range (0.03 m s−1 –0.04 m s−1) with an electrode gap of 2.5 mm. Performance of this pilot plant demonstrated repeatability to results previously obtained.
Mesh electrodes with geometric area of 344.32 cm2 were used for plant performance testing. A NiO anode and Ni cathode combination developed optimal performance yielding 508 mA cm−2 at 2 VDC in contrast to a Ni anode and cathode combination providing 467 mA cm−2 at 2.26 VDC at 0.04 m s−1, 30% KOH and 80 °C. An IrO2/RuO2/TiO2 anode and Pt cathode combination underwent catalyst deactivation.
Owing to the nature of the gas/liquid separation system, gas qualities were inadequate compared to results achieved previously. Future improvements will provide qualities similar to results achieved before