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Ionic compressors make use of ionic liquids instead of a piston to compress hydrogen gas.

Technology

What is it?

Ionic compressors make use of ionic liquids instead of a piston to compress hydrogen gas. Ionic compressors are currently in use today in several hydrogen refuelling stations to reach the required pressures for hydrogen FCEVs.

Why is it important?

Potentially lower-cost compression. As with other mechanical compressors, could be effective for large-scale compression of hydrogen.

Characteristics

  • Gravimetric hydrogen density: N/A
  • Storage conditions: Up to 1000 bar pressure demonstrated

Benefits

  • Potential to yield energy saving of 40% over standard mechanical compressors
  • Do not require bearings and seals, which are the most common sources of failure in mechanical compressors

Limitations

  • Low volumetric energy density
  • Energy intensive process
  • High cost of ionic liquids

RD&D priorities

  • Develop low-cost ionic liquids
  • Develop high performance ionic liquids (lower viscosity, improved operating temperature range)

Known active organisations

  • No active institutions found in study

Other opportunities like this

  • Hydrogen is stored at high pressures (approaching 800 bar) in steel or carbon fibre composite tanks via mechanical compression.

  • A compressor in which hydrogen is supplied at the anode and then driven through a polymer exchange membrane to the cathode via the application of an electric current, where it is collected in a compressed form on the other side.

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