Characterization of ion-permeable separators for alkaline water electrolysis

Hydrogen (H2) is an important raw material for the chemical industry and will also be used to store and transport renewable energy in the future. Alkaline water electrolysis uses highly concentrated potassium hydroxide solution as an electrolyte and is a promising process for the industrial production of H2. To prevent the product gases from mixing in the cell, the hydrogen and oxygen sides of the cell are separated by a separator. This separator should have a very low resistance to ion transport and a high resistance to gas permeation at the same time.

Within the scope of this work, different separators in a cell with an active surface area of 100 cm2 are to be investigated. The cells, a test facility including measurement technology for electrochemical testing and a gas chromatograph are available for the work so that the electrical and gas permeation resistance of the separators can be determined. Initially, the industrial standard material Zirfon® will be measured as a benchmark, followed by further samples from other manufacturers and research groups. The final goal of the work is a clear comparison of the separators.