Establishing an upscaled H2 economy calls for safe and reliable technologies. These need to be enabled by increased service envelopes of existing materials or by innovative material approaches to meet new challenges. The paper introduces polymeric material driven approaches that overcome those challenges or extend the use cases of established materials. Focus are aspects along the value chain that are directly connected: Electrolytic H2 generation and transport/distribution via nonmetallic piping both on- and offshore plus the separation of hydrogen from CH4/H2 mixtures.
Anion Exchange Membranes enable the cost-efficient production of green hydrogen via electrolysis. A highly durable and conductive polymeric membrane allows for the exchange of hydroxide ions in alkaline membrane electrolysis without the usage of rare or expensive metals. As a result the overall costs for green H2 are reduced significantly.
Polymeric pipes can circumvent any intrinsically steel related H2 embrittlement issues without any further need for cathodic corrosion protection as well. Onshore solutions based on PA12-U will be usable in H2 ready gas distribution, effectively compensating H2’s lower volumetric energy density by higher operating pressures than other polymers at much reduced permeation. Nonmetallic joints and fittings further enhance the serviceability.
For offshore power generation by floating turbine dynamic loads need to be addressed in H2 piping from electrolyser unit to manifold. Flexible fatigue resistant lightweight solutions that are insensitive to corrosive or embrittling impact are required. Innovative PA12 carbon fiber based thermoplastic composite pipe solutions are qualified acc. to DNV-ST-F119 for this challenging application, freely scalable for any pressure.
Highly selective SEPURAN separation membrane technology can be used to separate H2 from CH4/H2 mixtures. In cases where CH4 pipelines can be used to transport H2 as well this cost-efficient technology allows for a separation of the gases right before the consumer of either H2 or CH4.