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Proton OnSite Achieves Milestone in Hydrogen Electrolyzer Technology

Achieving gas production at 5,000psi without a compressor signals significant step toward more affordable, efficient hydrogen gas generators.

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Achieving gas production at 5,000psi without a compressor signals significant step toward more affordable, efficient hydrogen gas generators

Wallingford, Conn. – June 26, 2012 – Proton OnSite’s latest project with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has yielded a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer stack that can produce hydrogen gas at an ultra-high pressure, without the need for a compressor.

A high-differential pressure PEM stack can now safely generate hydrogen gas at 5,000 pounds per square inch (psi) without the need for a compressor, and while releasing the outgoing oxygen gas at atmospheric pressure. Proton OnSite, the world’s leading supplier of on-site gas generators utilizing PEM technology, began collaborating with the DOE in February 2010 on Phase I. With this achievement, Proton OnSite will successfully end Phase II in August 2012.

Attaining this level without a compressor brings PEM technology one step closer to being able to produce hydrogen gas while forgoing a gas generator’s most capital- and maintenance-intensive piece of equipment. Eliminating the compressor ultimately enables hydrogen electrolyzers to more cost-effectively generate gas.

"By collaborating with the DOE on PEM technology developments for military and commercial purposes, we can dramatically improve gas generation solutions for all of our customers," said John Speranza, Vice President of Commercial Hydrogen Product Sales. "Achieving ultra-high pressure without a compressor brings us another step closer to developing gas generators that are more efficient, less maintenance-intensive and ultimately more affordable for our commercial customers."

"Past R&D projects have led to the technological superiority of our current hydrogen gas generators, and this latest milestone represents our continued legacy of innovation and quality."

The DOE asked Proton OnSite to create an ultra-high pressure electrolyzer stack as part of efforts to develop a long-term energy solution. Hydrogen electrolyzers are currently used in a number of industries, from laboratories to semiconductor manufacturing. In addition, the clean energy industry increasingly demands hydrogen electrolyzers for storing energy from wind and solar sources as well as refueling military and commercial fuel cell vehicles.

PEM electrolyzers work by running a current through a solid polymer electrolyte, which through electrolysis draws a hydrogen ion (proton) from deionized water and through the membrane. These ions combine at the other end of the membrane to produce hydrogen gas, leaving oxygen on the other side.