Design and Experimental Test Plan for Hybrid Sulfur Single Cell Pressurized Electrolyzer

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The Hybrid Sulfur (HyS) process is one of the leading thermochemical cycles being studied as part of the DOE Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI). SRNL is conducting analyses and research and development for the Department of Energy on the HyS process. A conceptual design report and development plan for the HyS process was issued on April 1, 2005 [Buckner, et. al., 2005] , and a report on atmospheric testing of a sulfur dioxide depolarized electrolyzer (SDE), a major component of the HyS process, was issued on August 1, 2005 [Steimke, 2005]. The purpose of this report is to document work related ... continued below

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Steeper, T. J. & Steimke, J. L. September 1, 2005.

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The Hybrid Sulfur (HyS) process is one of the leading thermochemical cycles being studied as part of the DOE Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI). SRNL is conducting analyses and research and development for the Department of Energy on the HyS process. A conceptual design report and development plan for the HyS process was issued on April 1, 2005 [Buckner, et. al., 2005] , and a report on atmospheric testing of a sulfur dioxide depolarized electrolyzer (SDE), a major component of the HyS process, was issued on August 1, 2005 [Steimke, 2005]. The purpose of this report is to document work related to the design and experimental test plan for a pressurized SDE. Pressurized operation of the SDE is a key requirement for development of an efficient and cost-effective HyS process. The HyS process, a hybrid thermochemical cycle proposed and investigated in the 1970s and early 1980s by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, is a high priority candidate for NHI due to the potential for high efficiency and its relatively high level of technical maturity. It was demonstrated in laboratory experiments by Westinghouse in 1978. Process improvements and component advancements that build on that work are being pursued. One of the objectives of the current work is to develop the SDE in order to permit the demonstration of a closed-loop laboratory model of the HyS process. The heart of the HyS process for generating hydrogen is a bank of electrolyzers incorporating sulfur dioxide depolarized anodes. SRNL planned, designed, built and operated a facility for testing single cell electrolyzers at ambient temperature and near atmospheric pressure during the spring and summer of 2005. The major contribution of the SRNL work was the establishment of the proof-of-concept for utilizing the proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) cell design for the SDE operation. Since PEM cells are being extensively developed for automotive fuel cell use, they offer significant potential for cost-effective application for the HyS Process. This report discusses the modifications necessary to the existing SRNL sulfur dioxide depolarized electrolyzer test facility to allow testing at up to 80 C and 90 psig. Because of the need for significant additional equipment and the ability to infer performance results to higher pressures, it recommends delaying further modifications to support testing at up to 300 psig (the commercial goal) until other, higher priority technical issues are addressed. These issues include membrane material selection, component designs, catalyst type and loading, etc. The factors and rationale that should be considered in developing and executing a detailed test matrix for pressurized operation are also discussed. In addition, an electrolyzer assembly design has been developed to allow the testing of different Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA's) as part of the planned FY06 HyS Development Program to complete selection of component design specifications for the HyS electrolyzer. MEA's are used in PEM cells to allow intimate contact and minimal resistance between the electrodes and the electrolyte layer. The pressurized electrolyzer assembly presented in this report will facilitate rapid change-out and testing of various MEA designs as part of the electrolyzer development effort.

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  • Report No.: WSRC-TR-2005-00407
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/881426 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 881426
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc885540

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 1, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 23, 2016, 2:41 p.m.

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Steeper, T. J. & Steimke, J. L. Design and Experimental Test Plan for Hybrid Sulfur Single Cell Pressurized Electrolyzer, report, September 1, 2005; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc885540/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.