Germany-based start-up Sunfire, supported by Czech utility company ČEZ Group, is building the world’s first multi-megawatt scale high-temperature electrolyser for highly efficient hydrogen production.
The project also involves renewable products specialist Neste, worlds’ leading provider of renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel, and as key technology partners, the French research organisation CEA, plant builder Paul Wurth and the energy utility ENGIE.
The MULTIPLHY electrolyser marks the first demonstration of high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) in an industrial refining process with a nominal power input of 2.6 megawatts (MW) and a hydrogen production capacity of 60 kilograms per hour, reaching an electrical efficiency of up to 85 per cent alternating current to lower heating value (LHV) of the hydrogen.
“This project shows the great progress being made in bringing our green hydrogen production technologies to the next level and paving the readiness for a further scale up to 100 MW,” said Nils Aldag, Sunfire Managing Director.
By the end of 2024, the electrolyser is expected to have been in operation for 16,000 hours or more, producing a total of around 960 tonnes of green hydrogen while avoiding approximately 8,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The project supports the most promising Carbon Direct Avoidance (CDA) approach by substituting grey hydrogen currently generated via steam-methane reforming (SMR) by certified green hydrogen.
“The European Union’s objectives of carbon neutrality are a huge challenge not only in the energy sector but also in the transportation sector,” continued Mr Aldag. “Green hydrogen from renewable sources is one of the key solutions.”
Sunfire, in which ČEZ Group invested five years ago through its Inven Capital fund, specialises in environmental-friendly production of energy such as through green hydrogen, synthetic gases and fuels.