Document Sample
       FUEL CELLS:
hydrogen economy

      At the threshold of a new era – era of hydrogen energy
                       (hydrogen economy)

   Further rapid development of modern power generation and transport
   industries will inevitably bring our civilization to environmental and energy
   crisis of unprecedented scale.
   • Depletion of existing fossil fuel reserves urges the industrial countries to
   put forth maximum efforts to find alternative renewable sources of clean
   • Past hopes for “the peaceful atom” turned out to be not as promising as
   they seemed, and the prospects of thermonuclear energy taming and its
   usage in the nearest future are still unclear.
   • Hydrogen, being practically inexhaustible source of energy, may save our
hydrogen economy

   • Research in the field of hydrogen energy separated as a direction of
      scientific and technological progress more than 30 years ago. Many
      countries regard hydrogen technologies as a priority in their social and
      economic development, hence the growing support from governments
      and private business sector. Researchers and engineers are looking for
      ways to introduce hydrogen fuel and electrochemical generators on the
      basis of Fuel Cells in the most power-consuming industries including
      transport vehicles. he use of hydrogen as a principal source of power will
      create an absolutely new hydrogen economy.
   • The results of this scientific and technological breakthrough can be
      compared to such revolutionary changes in the development of our
      civilization as those provided by electric power, internal combustion
      engine, chemistry and oil chemistry, information technologies and
   • About 100 Western companies, industrial groups, university laboratories,
      state institutions and research associations conduct studies in different
      areas of hydrogen energy generation and application.
hydrogen economy
   • All industrially advanced countries have adopted national programs for the
   development of hydrogen energy and fuel cells. They are financed by
   governments of these countries and by private business. The amount of annual
   investments in FC technologies and FC-based power plants exceeds $500
   • The most committed countries are the U.S.A., Cana and Japan, where
   dynamic research and development are accompanied with actions focusing on
   the commercialization of hydrogen technology. A large number of FC-based
   power plants with capacities from several Watts to MegaWatts have been put
   into operation lately, and their performance clearly demonstrates that they can
   easily compete with conventional plants that exploit the traditional process of
   fossil fuel combustion.
   • Further advancement in the area of FC-based power plants development will
   enable us to solve two major tasks: to provide the mankind with renewable
   clean energy resources, and to replace or to improve existing systems of
   power supply (electricity and heat) to various objects, from mobile telephones,
   computers and automobiles to residential houses, large industrial plants and
   cities in general.
hydrogen economy


     FC Type   U.S.A.    Japan   Europe      Total    %

   PEMFC        450       250     670       1 370      5

   PAFC        13 200   10 000    1 000     24 200    75

   MCFC        1 250     1 060    2 860     5 170     16

   SOFC         500       15      850        1365      4

   Total       15 400   11 325    5 380     32 105    100

    %           48        35       17        100
hydrogen economy           GLOBAL FC MARKET

                                                   %           %
                     1995       2000     2005    annual      annual
                                                 growth      growth
                                                2000/1995   2005/2000

  Global FC market   1 205      2 440   8 500     15,2        28,4

  U.S.A.             355         720    2 500     15,2        28,3

  Canada and          45         150     575      27,2        30,8
  Western Europe     310         600    2 300     14,1        30,8

  Japan              360         675    1 950     13,4        23,6

  Other Asia and      75         195     750      21,1        30,9
  Other world         60         100     425      10,8        33,6
hydrogen economy

  Achievements of our country in the field of FC development are really
  unique. We don’t, however, use our potential to the full extent, thus not
  only postponing our progress in this promising area but also condemning
  ourselves to future dependency on economic and political ambitions of
  other countries.
  Main factors impeding Russian research and development in the field of
  FC and hydrogen energy:
  - no national program to promote the development and production of FC
  and FC-based power plants;
  - no special state funds to finance theoretical and application studies
  (previously funded as part of federal space programs);
  - ill-equipped industry not ready to produce FC and FC-based power
  - private business not prepared for investing any substantial sums into
  research and development;
  - no clear and straightforward state policy, and no real support that could
  help to create environment-friendly power-saving technology.
hydrogen economy
  With purpose to reduce the existing lag in the research and development
  of hydrogen energy and FC, and recognizing the exceptional importance
  of hydrogen energy industry to the Russian economy, MMC Norilsk
  Nickel and Russian Academy of Sciences have agreed to consolidate
  their forces in this area. They are going to launch and finance the most
  vital theoretical, research, design and experimental projects relating to
  FC and FC-based power plants, including the following:
  - to lay scientific, technological and engineering grounds for further
  promotion of key units, plants and systems on the basis of hydrogen
  energy and FC;
  -  to establish cooperation of research institutes and industrial
  companies in the field of hydrogen and FC infrastructure development;
  - to work out a mechanism of financing which should include private
  - to study the situation on the global markets of FC and FC-based
  systems; to identify projects that are the most promising (competitive)
  from the viewpoint of large-scale production and marketing;
hydrogen economy

   - to organize the production of FC and FC-based systems;
   - to draft proposals with regard to the Russian hydrogen infrastructure
   and autonomous energy structure based on FC technologies;
   - to set up a Russian national program of hydrogen energy
   development, and to form bodies that will control and coordinate the
   realization of such program;
   - draft proposals with regard to the federal budget policy in the area of
   hydrogen economy and FC financing;
   - to elaborate legal and regulative foundation and a system of national
   standards, norms and requirements to the hydrogen energy
   - to enhance public knowledge of hydrogen energy merits and
   advantages, to show what benefits it may bring to the Russian
   economy, etc.
   This plan of action shall envisage the constitution of a Hydrogen Energy
   and FC Council with the Russian Academy of Sciences and publishing
   of an All-Russian Journal covering hydrogen and FC technologies.
hydrogen economy
                             Major Russian R&D institutions

               working with hydrogen technologies and fuel cells
      G.K. Boreskov Institute of Catalysis,      Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC),
 1.                                              catalysts, reforming processes –              Novosibirsk
      Siberian Branch of RAS
                                                 hydrocarbon fuel reformers

      Institute of High Temperature
 2.                                              High temperature solid oxide fuel            Ekaterinburg
      Electrochemistry, Ural Branch of RAS       cells and SOFC power plants

      A.V. Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical
 3.                                              Hydrogen production and purification           Moscow
      Synthesis, RAS

      G.V. Kurdyumov Institute of Metal          Hydrogen storage technology using
 4.                                              metal hydride systems and                      Moscow
      Physics and Functional Materials, RAS
                                                 FC multi-layer porous silicon membranes         Cherno-
      Institute of Microelectronics Technology   ethnology and silicon catalytic supports
 5.                                              technology for reforming of hydrocarbon
                                                                                            golovka, Moscow
      and Ultra-Pure Materials, RAS
                                                 fuels and hydrogen production              region

      A.N. Nesmeyanov Institute of               Research and development of
 6.                                              condensate polymer-based high                  Moscow
      Organoelement Compounds, RAS
                                                 temperature FC prototypes

      Institute of Engineering Science,          Integrated systems of hydrogen
 7.                                              production, accumulation, storage            Ekaterinburg
      Ural Branch of RAS
                                                 and supply
hydrogen economy

                                                Electrochemical generators
      Federal State Unitary Enterprize (FSUE)                                         Novouralsk,
 1.                                             powered by alkaline and proton
      Ural Electrochemical Integrated Plant                                          Sverdlov region
                                                exchange membrane FC
      Russian Federal Nuclear Center –                                                  Sarov,
 2.   All-Russia Research Institute of          PEMFC power plants                     Nizhniy
      Experimental Physics                                                       Novgorod region
      Russian Federal Nuclear Center –                                                Snezhinsk,
 3.   E.I. Zababakhin All-Russia Research       SOFC power plants                    Chelabinsk
      Institute of Technical Physics                                                 region
                                                Hydrogen production,
      Russian Research Center -                                                      Moscow
 4.                                             accumulation, storage and
      Kurchatov Institute
                                                supply. SOFC
      A.I. Leipunsky Physics and Power
                                                Solid oxide FC and SOFC power        Obninsk
 5.   Institute -
      State Scientific Center
                                                FC power units for automobile      Korolev,
      S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space
 6.                                             transport and residential        Moscow region
      Corporation Energia
      Special Boiler Design Bureau              FC power plants                  Saint-Petersburg
hydrogen economy

                                                Fuel cells
               Chemical energy of fuel and oxidizer

                Combustion                 Fuel cell
                 chamber                                         FC is an electrochemical device
                                                                 in which the energy of fuel and
                   Heat                                          oxidant continuously supplied to
                                                                 electrodes is directly converted
             Turbine or engine                                   into electricity without low-
                                                                 efficient combustion process.

                Mechanical                                       As there is no heat/power
                                                                 conversion in these devices,
                                                                 their energy efficiency is much
                 generator                                       higher than that of traditional
                                                                 power units, and can reach 90%.
                             Electric current

 Chemical energy conversion stages by traditional and electrochemical
hydrogen economy
                                       •   Chemical reactions in FC take place on
  Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
                                           special porous electrodes (anode and
                                           cathode) activated by palladium (or other
                                           platinum group metals), where chemical
                                           energy of hydrogen and oxygen is efficiently
                                           converted into electricity.        Hydrogen is
                                           oxidized on the anode and oxygen (or air) is
                                           reduced on the cathode.
                                       •   Catalyst on the anode speeds up the
                                           oxidation of hydrogen molecules into
                                           hydrogen ions (Н+) and electrons. Hydrogen
                                           ions (protons) pass through the membrane to
                                           the cathode where the catalyst stimulates the
                                           formation of water out of protons, electrons
                                           and oxygen. Free electrons are conducted
                                           through the external circuit to produce
                                           electricity for various applications.
                                       •   Voltage in a separate FC doesn’t exceed 1,1V.
                                           To achieve the required voltage fuel cells are
                                           consequently combined in stacks, and FC
                                           stacks are connected in parallel to reach the
                                           required capacity. Such stacks together with
                                           gas     distribution    and    thermoregulation
                                           elements form a single unit – a so called
                                           electrochemical generator.
hydrogen economy

                    Types of fuel cells                                                •   There are several types of fuel cells. They are
                                                                                           usually differentiated by the type of fuel used,
                                                                                           operating pressure and temperature, area of
  Waste from                                                     Waste from
                                                                                       •   In the most wide-spread FC classification they
   anode                                                          cathode                  are distinguished by the type of electrolyte
                                                                                           material used as a medium for the internal
                                                                                           transfer of ions (protons). The type of
                                                                                           electrolyte     determines     the      operating
                                                                                           temperature on which the type of catalyst
                                                                                       •   The choice of fuel and oxidant for any FC
                                                                                           depends on their electrochemical activity (that
                                                                                           is, the speed of electrode reaction), cost, and
                                                                                           easiness of fuel and oxidant delivery and
                                                                                           removal of reaction by-products.
                                                                                       •   The main source of FC fuel is hydrogen, but
                                                                                           fuel conversion process allows to recover
                                                                                           hydrogen from other materials like methanol,
                                                                                           natural gas, oil, etc.
  Fuel to anode                                                       Oxidizer (air)
                                                                        to anode       •   Unlike batteries and traditional cells Fuel Cells
                        Anode     Electrolyte   Cathode                                    cannot be exhausted. They require a refill of
                                   material                                                fuel such as hydrogen gas or liquid methanol
                  Electrochemical reaction in different types of FC                        in order to keep operating, but no
hydrogen economy
                The electrolyte in this fuel cell is concentrated (85 wt.) potassium hydroxide (KOH) in high
   Alkaline     temperature cells (~250ºC), or less concentrated (35-50 wt.) KOH for lower temperature (<120ºC)
  Electrolyte   operation. In mid-1960s they were used for the Buran and Shuttle space vehicles. However, they
   FC (AFC)     have had relatively little success in terrestrial applications due to the high cost of producing
                high purity fuel and oxidiser streams, plus corrosion problems. Typical efficiency is 60%.

   Proton       The electrolyte in this fuel cell is a solid polymer membrane (thin plastic film) that is an excellent ion
  Exchange      (proton) conductor. High current density in these cells means low weight, volume and cost. Solid
                electrolyte makes easier the process of sealing in the FC production, reduces corrosion and provides
                longer service life. Low operating temperature (below 100˚C) facilitates start-up and reaction to power
 FC (PEMFC)     requirements. These FC are ideal for transport vehicles and small-scale stationary applications.

 Phosphoric     The electrolyte in this fuel cell is 100% concentrated phosphoric acid retained in a matrix which is
    Acid        usually silicon carbide. PAFCs were the first to reach commercialization. Applications: stationary power
                plants in houses, hotels, hospitals, airports. Their efficiency exceeds 40% and may reach 85% when the
                by-product steam is used (compared to just 30% efficiency of any internal combustion engine).
                The electrolyte in this fuel cell is usually a combination of alkali carbonates, such as Na and K, which is
   Molten       retained in a ceramic matrix of LiAlO2. The fuel cell operates at about 600 to 700ºC thus allowing to use
                fuel directly, without any additional processing, and Ni may be used as a catalyst. MCFCs offer higher
                electrical efficiencies than PAFCs at around 60% plus the possibility of cogeneration (water heating)
 Electrolyte    which makes overall efficiencies of 80% feasible. Reaction to any changes in the power requirement is
 FC (MCFC)      slow, this is why they are suitable for applications where high power is needed constantly. At present
                there are numerous demonstration plants in the U.S.A. and Japan. One of American plants has a
                capacity of 1.8 MW.
 Solid Oxide
                The electrolyte in this fuel cell is a solid, nonporous metal oxide, usually Y2O3-stabilised ZrO2. Cells
 Electrolyte    operate at 650 to 1000ºC where efficient conduction of anode seeking oxygen ions takes
     FC         place. Operating temperatures are high enough to allow internal reforming and promote rapid kinetics
   (SOFC)       with non precious materials. They are suitable for use in stationary power plants of large and very
                large scale. Overall efficiency is about 60%.
hydrogen economy
  Motor vehicles            FUEL CELLS APPLICATION                            Utility service
  Buses, trucks,
   dump-trucks                                                               Houses and city
                                                                              blocks, small

 Railway transport
                                       FC-based power
 - shunting (50-100                  plants may provide:                 Remote settlements
 kW), from 10 up to
 100 vehicles per                        W –10,000 kW                      At gas/oil fields,
 year;                                   electric power;                    geologic parties
 - main line (1,000-                    W – 10,000 kW                    (100-500 kW, 50-500
 4,000 kW), from 25                            heat                      settlements per year)
 up to 200 vehicles                    Drinking water up
 per year                               to 250 g/kW/hour

   Water transport
                                                                                   Drill rigs
    River and sea
  cabotage vessels                                                                 (land and
                                                                                  sea based)

                       Portable power units       Cathode protection,
    Agriculture          Mobile phones,           telecommunications       Chemical industry
                        computers, home
    (villages,             electronic             2-5 kW units for gas     With H-containing
    detached             appliances, etc.          pipelines, 100-200         by-products
  houses, farms)                                     units per year