Solid oxide electrolysis cell technology to help provide climate-friendly fuels

October 11, 2020 |

In Denmark, Haldor Topsoe reports that solid oxide electrolysis cell technology can unlock the full potential of renewable power. Electrolysis technologies play a central part in power-to-X solutions that produce climate-friendly fuels, such as hydrogen and ammonia.

SOEC is a core technology in power-to-X solutions and offers major advantages over alternative electrolysis technologies. The article argues that the technology will very soon be ready for wider adoption.

To meet the future needs for decarbonization globally, electrolysis technologies must be deployed at a massive scale.

“In the article in Science, we claim that the SOEC technology holds the best promise for a wider adoption thanks to unrivaled energy conversion efficiencies. The high operating temperature of SOECs gives rise to the two main advantages over competing alkaline and polymer-electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzers: more favorable thermodynamics and faster kinetics. It is also essential that the SOEC technology is based on scalable production methods and abundant raw materials such as nickel, zirconia, and steel,” says Rainer Küngas, Principal Scientist at Topsoe and one of the lead authors of the article.

The technology has moved from the R&D phase into demonstration and scale-up, and today it is on the verge of commercialization. Topsoe is at the forefront of the commercialization activities and has just shipped the world’s first unsubsidized SOEC plants that will soon start converting CO2 into useful chemicals in Ohio, USA.

When renewable electricity is used in electrolysis, the production of fuels and chemicals can be decoupled from fossil resources and CO2 emissions, paving the way for an energy system based entirely on renewable energy and resources.

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Category: Fuels

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