Under the terms of the agreement, Akzo Nobel—at its Bitterfeld site in Germany—will test AFC Energy's low cost hydrogen fuel cell technology, particularly its capacity to generate clean energy from the substantial quantity of hydrogen that is currently produced as a by product at chlorine production plants.
economic feasibility of larger units to convert hydrogen from an electrolysis process to electricity and useful heat will also be evaluated.
"The chlor-alkali industry is energy intensive, so improving energy efficiency is a top priority to keep the processes sustainable,” said Knut Schwalenberg, General Manager of Chlor-Alkali at Akzo Nobel.
“Huge amounts of hydrogen are produced in the electrolysis process as a by-product of chlorine and caustic lye. The immediate conversion of this hydrogen into electricity, based on locally installed fuel cells, and the use of this electricity back in the electrolysis process would create an ideal loop. Akzo Nobel regards the technology of AFC Energy as promising and we are looking forward to the results of the cooperation."
current excess hydrogen produced by Akzo Nobel would support approximately 5-10 Megawatts of green electricity generation and the AFC business model will offer a capital payback within three years with effective zero cost electricity thereafter.
fuel cells convert air and hydrogen into electricity and heat and are the most reliable, efficient and versatile of all the fuel cell technologies, with several existing commercial applications.