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02-06-2012

Solvay: Successful Commissioning of PEM Fuel Cell

Solvay has successfully commissioned its 1 MegaWatt industrial demonstration Fuel Cell at the SolVin plant in Lillo, Antwerp, Belgium. This Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell converts coproduced hydrogen in the plant into electricity and is now producing for weeks at a steady rate. The Fuel Cell has generated over 500 MWh in about 800 hours of operation, which amounts to the electricity consumption of 1370 families during the same time frame.

This successful industrial scale-up project containing Solvay’s specialty polymers and SolviCore’s membrane electrode assemblies brings PEM Fuel Cell technology to a new threshold. The Fuel Cell also increases SolVin’s brine electrolysis’ energy efficiency.

Fuel Cells convert the chemical energy from hydrogen into clean electricity through an electrochemical reaction with oxygen. The PEM Fuel Cell consists of a large number of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) made out of Solvay’s specialty polymer Aquivion PFSA membrane and ionomer and Umicore’s elystTM catalyst. The MEAs were manufactured by SolviCore, a 50-50 joint venture of Solvay and Umicore, in its plant in Hanau, Germany. Dutch companies NedStack and MTSA have built the fuel cell using SolviCore’s assemblies.

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