DEMCOPEM-2MW project completed!

The world’s first 2MW PEM fuel cell power plant has been successfully designed, constructed and integrated into a chlor-alkali (CA) production plant, in Yingkou China.

The chlor-alkali production plant produces chlorine and caustic soda (lye) and high purity hydrogen. The hydrogen contains almost 45% of the energy that is consumed in the plant. In many cases this hydrogen is vented. The project demonstrated the PEM Power Plant technology for converting the hydrogen into electricity, heat and water for use in the chlor-alkali production process, lowering its electricity consumption by 20%.

The main project technical results/KPIs are summarized below:

  • Integration of heat and power with an existing chlorine production plant
    • 2MW power achieved in operation
    • Heat available @ 60°C
    • Additional treatment hydrogen / air required; H2 scrubber installed
  • High net conversion efficiency 50% electric energy on system level and 80% for combined heat and power
  • Demonstration of power and heat generation for over 2 years
  • On-stream availability of up to > 95% in an operational period for over 2 years
    • Influenced by OSBL (H2/grid availability) and stacks but successfully demonstrated end 2017
  • Fully automated way of operation and remote monitoring
  • Investment demonstrated for €3,000 / kWe

Other results and achievements:

  • The plant produced more than 13GWh and made available 7 GWh of thermal energy at 65˚C
  • More than 850 tons of hydrogen have been recovered avoiding emission of 15.000 tCO2
  • New ME
  • As technology production developed (with lower Pt cost)
  • Developed open-source calculation tool for preliminary economical assessment.
  • Two project workshops successfully organised in China
  • Several publications and presentations at conferences.

Concept of DEMCOPEM

Concept of DEMCOPEM

Conceptual picture of DEMCOPEM-2MW project

The PEM power plant

The PEM power plant will be fully integrated into the chlorine production unit and will also be remotely controlled. The water produced by the oxidation of hydrogen is also used. To reduce the (maintenance) cost of the integrated plant special emphasis is put on the longevity of the fuel cells (especially membranes, electrodes and catalyst) and to lower the manufacturing costs. The design is optimized for minimal energy loss. Extensive diagnostics and data acquisition are incorporated to monitor the performance. The demonstration will take place in China as this is the ideal starting point for the market introduction. High electricity prices (up to 2 times higher than in Europe), 50% of the chlor-alkali world production and rationing of electricity all contribute to the business case.

DEMCOPEM_Calculation Button

DEMCOPEM_Calculation Button

Within the DEMCOPEM-2MW framework, the Politecnico di Milano developed a simple, open-source tool able of calculating how much energy can be produced with wasted Hydrogen (from different sources), and what could be the size and main features of a PEM power plant designed to utilize a given amount of hydrogen. The calculation could be useful for many industries dealing with waste H2. To calculate the preliminary size of a hydrogen PEM plant, please click the button.