Electrochemical Pumping for Challenging Hydrogen Separations

Gokul Venugopalan, Deepra Bhattacharya, Evan Andrews, Luis Briceno-Mena, José Romagnoli, John Flake, Christopher G. Arges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Conventional hydrogen separations from reformed hydrocarbons often deploy a water gas shift (WGS) reactor to convert CO to CO2, followed by adsorption processes to achieve pure hydrogen. The purified hydrogen is then fed to a compressor to deliver hydrogen at high pressures. Electrochemical hydrogen pumps (EHPs) featuring proton-selective polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs) represent an alternative separation platform with fewer unit operations because they can simultaneously separate and compress hydrogen continuously. In this work, a high-temperature PEM (HT-PEM) EHP purified hydrogen to 99.3%, with greater than 85% hydrogen recovery for feed mixtures containing 25-40% CO. The ion-pair HT-PEM and phosphonic acid ionomer binder enabled the EHP to be operated in the temperature range from 160 to 220 °C. The ability to operate the EHP at an elevated temperature allowed the EHP to purify hydrogen from gas feeds with large CO contents at 1 A cm-2. Finally, the EHP with the said materials displayed a small performance loss of 12 μV h-1for purifying hydrogen from syngas for 100 h at 200 °C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1322-1329
Number of pages8
JournalACS Energy Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 8 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Materials Chemistry


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