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H2NEW research employs world-class experimental, analytical, and modeling tools to provide a scientific understanding of low- and high-temperature electrolysis cell performance, cost, and durability.

Producing affordable hydrogen with electrolysis cannot come at the expense of cell durability or efficiency. H2NEW's interconnected and comprehensive research—including fabrication and integration studies, standardized protocols and cell testing, durability studies, degradation mitigation strategies, and modeling/analysis—overcomes critical barriers to improve hydrogen electrolyzers, including:

  • Enhancing durability
  • Increasing performance
  • Reducing capital cost.

H2NEW is divided into two research concentrations:

  • Low-temperature water electrolysis (LTE), specifically proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) and liquid alkaline water electrolysis (LAWE)
  • High-temperature oxide-ion-conducting solid oxide water electrolysis (HTE).
Low-Temperature Electrolysis (LTE)

Low-Temperature Electrolysis

LTE systems are commercially available today but are fabricated at low manufacturing volumes and are still not sufficiently affordable, durable, or efficient. H2NEW's experimental and analysis capabilities form a crucial feedback loop for identifying barriers and validating progress toward overcoming these barriers. View our LTE capabilities.

Task 1: PEMWE Durability

  • Identify stressors leading to degradation
  • Perform aging studies
  • Characterize membrane electrode assemblies, components, and interfaces
  • Develop accelerated stress tests.

Task 2: PEMWE Performance and Benchmarking

  • Establish and validate performance benchmarks
  • Harmonize procedures and execute of standard and advanced ex situ, in situ, and in operando diagnostics
  • Test cell performance in support of electrode development
  • Develop reproducible analysis pathways for the research community and industry.

Task 3: PEMWE Manufacturing, Scale-Up, and Integration

  • Scale up lab-scale methods to meet targets
  • Fabricate materials for durability and performance testing
  • Engineer interfaces and components.

Task 3c: PEMWE Analysis

  • Couple cost estimate models for electrolyzer manufacturing with system analysis models and system performance and durability analysis
  • Leverage future electricity scenarios to provide bounding conditions for electricity cost/availability
  • Use models to optimize simulations.

Task 9a: LAWE Durability

  • Understand and mitigate degradation
  • Conduct ex situ studies of components and interfaces
  • Develop accelerated stress tests
  • Establish and validate durability benchmarks.

Task 9b: LAWE Performance

  • Establish and validate performance benchmarks
  • Evaluate cell performance
  • Conduct cell level modeling.

Task 9c: LAWE Scale-Up and Integration Challenges

  • Scale up membrane electrode assembly fabrication
  • Engineer interfaces and components
  • Perform systems and techno-economic analysis.
High-Temperature Electrolysis (HTE)

High-Temperature Electrolysis

HTE systems are far less mature than LTEs but offer potential benefits such as higher efficiency and the ability to be coupled with heat from nuclear, solar, and other heat sources. H2NEW is working to understand HTE degradation mechanisms to optimize composition and architecture so researchers can tune operation for extended lifetimes. View our HTE capabilities.

Task 5: HTE Durability Testing and Accelerated Stress Test Development

  • Develop and validate accelerated stress test protocols for cell testing to accelerate degradation rates
  • Accurately reproduce degradation mechanisms occurring under typical operating conditions and lifetimes.

Task 6: HTE Task Integration and Protocol Validation

  • Compose stakeholder advisory board
  • Solicit guidance and experience from the HTE community in areas of accelerated stress testing and cell composition
  • Develop five-year stack-level HTE targets
  • Achieve coordinated data management, performance baselining, and validation.

Task 7: HTE Cell Advanced Characterization

  • Couple analysis and modeling with characterization to understand failure mechanisms at the atomic level
  • Use ex situ samples to inform HTE durability and performance studies
  • Use in operando experiments to study the evolution of degradation mechanisms under full operating conditions.

Task 8: HTE Cell Multiscale Modeling

  • Develop multiscale simulations of underlying component-level physicochemical mechanisms
  • Characterize the interplay between mechanisms under relevant operating conditions
  • Develop strategies for optimizing fabrication, cell geometry, and testing conditions.