In recent years, the development of "Green Hydrogen" has once become a hot topic in the energy industry. As the energy transition is accelerating, the development of green and clean energies represented by green hydrogen has become a consensus of the world community and all mankind.
"Zero Hydrogen" published by the International Hydrogen Council shows that the global demands for renewable energy and low-carbon hydrogen may increase by 50% in the next decade. In fact, the goal of 1.5°C temperature rise control alone will be at the cost of 220 million tons of hydrogen annually. To firmly pursuing such an aspiration originally set for green utilizations with hydrogen energy, the integrated development with renewable energies has also become an irreversible trend by actively developing the green hydrogen production technologies represented by the water electrolysis process based hydrogen productions.
With breakthroughs, development of alkaline electrolyzer goes from strength to strength
The hydrogen production by electrolysis of water is considered as the crucial means of producing green hydrogen at present. So, how to convert electricity into hydrogen in this process? In the process, the alkaline electrolyzer - the core device of electrolytic water equipment, as an anchor in the process of electrolytic water, plays a key role in improving the efficiency of green hydrogen production equipment, and serves as a golden bridge between "green electricity and green hydrogen".
The alkaline electrolyzer has three core advantages. First, it is green and environment-friendly device as it emits no pollutants from the production processes and produces hydrogen with a relatively high purity. Second, production flexibility. It is available for large-scale distributed generation applications, in the current large-scale productions with alkaline electrolytic water in particular, the hydrogen production by alkaline water electrolysis has greater advantages in the large-scale applications with solar power and wind power converted into hydrogen energy storages. Thirdly, alkaline electrolyzer electrodes, cells and membranes are relatively at the low costs with long-term stability and high efficiency. These characteristics and precious metal free electrodes enables the hydrogen production by alkaline water electrolysis a promising candidate for green hydrogen productions.
Increasing demands of alkaline electrolyzer
In terms of the market evolutions, alkaline water electrolysis dominates as it is the most sophisticated electrolysis technology, in some large-scale application projects in particular. For example, ALK chose aqueous potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution as the electrolyte to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water, and the efficiency usually spans from 70% to 80%.
The technology of hydrogen production by alkaline water electrolysis has been well-developed, with simple tank structure, safe and reliable, long operating life, easier operation and low price, becoming main electrolytic hydrogen production approach on the market. The share of alkaline electrolyzer in the global electrolyzer market is expected to grow in 2022 beyond the share in 2020-2021, accounting for 75-78% of the total shipments.
The Hydrogen Council and McKinsey, the global management consulting firm, recently released a report jointly stating that in the incoming 5 to 10 years, the CAPEX for electrolyzers is expected to be reduced by about 70-80% significantly. Eventually, the costs of "green hydrogen" will be sliced to USD 2 to 3 per kg, even USD 1 to1.5 per kg.
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