CORDIS - EU research results

Novel modular stack design for high pressure PEM water electrolyzer technology with wide operation range and reduced cost

Project description

High-pressure, cost-efficient PEM electrolyser boosts green hydrogen production

Green hydrogen, produced by electrolysis, could become a key energy carrier for integrating renewable energy across the energy and transport sectors. The EU-funded PRETZEL project aims to develop a 25-kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser system. This innovative system, which can reach up to 100 bar differential pressure, will significantly improve efficiency, cost and durability issues that currently limit large-scale PEM electrolysis. The electrolyser is expected to operate between 4 and 6 Acm^(-2) and 90 °C at an unprecedented efficiency of 70 % for over 2 000 hours. The use of non-precious metal coatings and advanced ceramic aerogel catalyst supports will reduce capital costs. The hydrogen produced by the high-pressure hydrogen generator will be used in fuel cell test stations.


Green hydrogen produced by electrolysis might become a key energy carrier for the implementation of renewable energy as a cross-sectional connection between the energy sector, industry and mobility. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis is the preferred technology for this purpose, yet large facilities can hardly achieve FCH-JU key performance indicators (KPI) in terms of cost, efficiency, lifetime and operability. Consequently, a game changer in the technology is necessary. PRETZEL consortium will develop a 25 kW PEM electrolyzer system based on a patented innovative cell concept that is potentially capable of reaching 100 bar differential pressure. The electrolyzer will dynamically operate between 4 and 6 A cm^(-2) and 90 °C achieving an unprecedented efficiency of 70%. This performance will be maintained for more than 2000 h of operation. Moreover, the capital cost of stack components will be largely reduced by the use of non-precious metal coatings and advanced ceramic aerogel catalyst supports. Likewise, the system balance of plant (BoP) will be optimized for cost reduction and reliability. The high pressure hydrogen generator will become part of the product portfolio of a German manufacturer but at the end of PREZEL, this company will establish a supply business partnership and R&D collaboration with France, Spain, Greece and Rumania, strengthening and consolidating cooperation among EU states with contrasting economies. Lastly, the hydrogen produced by the PEM electrolyzer will not be wasted, but rather used for feeding the fuel cell test stations in one of the partner’s laboratory.


Net EU contribution
€ 399 626,25
51147 Koln

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Nordrhein-Westfalen Köln Köln, Kreisfreie Stadt
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 399 626,25

Participants (10)