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SoCalGas and EVOLOH complete research project to improve affordability of hydrogen and electrolyser production

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World Fertilizer,

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and EVOLOH Inc., an anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolyser technology developer, have completed a joint research project that resulted in enhancements to the current electrolyser manufacturing process and technology. Overall, the enhancements achieved in the project could reduce the capital costs of the electrolyser technology by approximately 25% and could help make the cost of clean renewable hydrogen more affordable.

EVOLOH's AEM is made with readily available materials and utilises a roll-to-roll manufacturing process. This enables a shorter and more reliable supply chain as well as a lower-cost, rapid production process for electrolyser stack development. The project was able to achieve a 15% increase in hydrogen production efficiency to EVOLOH's Nautilus™ series electrolyser stack, the core component of an electrolyser that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The increased efficiency also helps extend the equipment lifetime of the stacks compared to traditional techniques.

"Meeting the growing demand for clean renewable hydrogen production will require an extraordinary expansion of the current electrolyser market," said Jawaad Malik, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer at SoCalGas.

"Innovative projects like this can help significantly reduce electrolyser system costs and production time and enable clean renewable hydrogen production to become more cost competitive with traditional energy sources."

SoCalGas' Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) Program helped fund the project and provided technical assistance with EVOLOH's development of high-speed coating methods for AEM electrolysers. The electrolyser stacks are designed to be compact, modular and are capable of being scaled up to 24 megawatts each, which makes them well-suited for large-scale industrial applications.

"Currently, electrolyser manufacturing and hydrogen production is expensive. Electrolysers can be difficult to make, transport and install, and certain current technologies require problematic supply chains," said Dr. Jimmy Rojas, EVOLOH's Chief Executive Officer. "When our technology is produced using renewable energy, hydrogen becomes a versatile, flexible and carbon-free energy platform that opens up new pathways for tackling some of the thorniest climate problems – like heavy transport, steelmaking, fertilizer production and long duration storage."

The technology will soon be scaled up at EVOLOH's new manufacturing Center of Excellence in Lowell, Massachusetts with a goal of producing 3.75GW per year by 2025 in electrolyser stacks and up to 15GW in 2027. EVOLOH will also begin MW-scale testing at its new headquarters in Santa Clara, California later this year.

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