Low-Cost Production of Hydrogen and Electricity

Project Overview
Positive Impact: New methods for producing hydrogen and electricity.
Bloom Energy is testing the potential to produce low-cost hydrogen and electricity simultaneously from natural gas.
Locations: Alaska
Partners: Bloom Energy
EERE Investment: $2.4 million
Clean Energy Sector: Sustainable transportationPDF

At an airport in Anchorage, Alaska, EERE provided funds to Bloom Energy in completing a one-year demonstration of two 25-kilowatt fuel cells—providing valuable, real-world data in one of the harshest environments on earth. Each fuel cell showed an impressive peak electrical efficiency of more than 50%. The high operating temperature of these specific fuel cells allows for a higher electrical efficiency than lower temperature fuel cells, which a have a peak electrical efficiency closer to 40% when operating on natural gas. In addition, a small-scale electrochemical hydrogen pump was connected to an identical 25-kilowatt fuel cell system in Bloom’s laboratory to demonstrate the coproduction of hydrogen and electricity. The gas that is emitted by the fuel cell where the electricity is generated is sent to the hydrogen pump, where the hydrogen is then separated from the other gases, resulting in a pure hydrogen stream. Data collected during the fuel cell demonstration and hydrogen pump validation testing, along with subsequent analysis based on high-volume manufacturing, shows the potential to produce low-cost hydrogen from natural gas by simultaneously producing hydrogen and electricity.

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) conducts comprehensive efforts to overcome the technological, economic, and institutional barriers to the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells.

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