ITM Power, the energy storage and clean fuel company is pleased to announce its participation in a Joint Industry Project (JIP) with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), directed at establishing a suite of analytical methods for the measurement of trace-level impurities in hydrogen. The project is underway and part funded by the National Measurement Office (NMO).
The future uptake of hydrogen as a fuel will depend in part on the ability to produce low cost hydrogen which is of a sufficient purity. These purity requirements are currently being set out in a series of draft International Standards (ISO 14687), with differing purities depending on the appliance in question. Where hydrogen is used to fuel proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, the recommended limits of impurities permissible to avoid poisoning of the fuel cell catalysts are currently being laid out in two ISO draft standards
1. ISO/CD 14687-2: 2009 - Hydrogen fuel Product specification Part 2: Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications for road vehicles (this is consistent with SAE J2719 - Information Report on the Development of a Hydrogen Quality Guideline for Fuel Cell Vehicles)
2. ISO/WD 14687-3: 2009 - Hydrogen fuel Product specification Part 3: Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell applications for stationary appliances
Presently, no infrastructure for measuring these ISO standards is available in the UK and, as part of the announced project, ITM is now contributing to this important project by providing samples of electrolytic hydrogen as feedstock to the analysis process and hosting sampling tests. The project will enable NPL to develop innovative analysis and sampling methods to allow the purity of the hydrogen produced by electrolysers or other technologies to be determined to the necessary accuracy to be suitable for use in fuel cell applications according to the draft ISO/CD 14687-2 and ISO/WD 14687-3.
Once developed, these methods can be used for other industrial applications in the UK hydrogen industry where purity measurements are critical, for example, the use of hydrogen as a carrier gas in analytical chemistry.
Commenting on the joint project Andrew Brown, Senior Research Scientist at NPL said: It is vital that the UK develops the skills and techniques necessary to certify hydrogen purity against international standards. NPL are pleased to be working with ITM in this field enabling evaluation of electrolytic hydrogen samples.
Graham Cooley, CEO commented: ITM are committed to achieving the right hydrogen purity for its customers. NPL is the best placed organization in the UK to develop appropriate gas analysis and provide independent assessment. We look forward to the results across our product portfolio.
Karen Hall, Administrative Manager of UKHA commented: This project is a refreshing example of companies taking the initiative and doing their bit for the UK hydrogen industry. Without appropriate analysis and sampling techniques it will be impossible to demonstrate compliance with the international standards currently under development.