Balancing Energy and Material Efficiency in Green Hydrogen Production via Water Electrolysis

Michaël Lejeune, Rahman Daiyan*, Michael Zwicky Hauschild, Sami Kara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review

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Green hydrogen is increasingly regarded as a pivotal solution in achieving "net zero by 2050" in carbon neutrality across various sectors and industries. Ambitious decarbonisation roadmaps largely depend on the successful deployment of electrolysis technologies. Among these, Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolysis (PEMEL) stands out for its efficiency, compact design, and adaptability to intermittent renewable power sources. PEMEL is gradually being commercialised, and considerable uncertainty remains regarding its future environmental performance at a plant level. Therefore, future PEMEL cells should be life cycle engineered with a focus on improving materials efficiency by investigating enhanced electrochemical catalysts, membranes, and electrodes for an improved membrane electrode assembly (MEA). In this study, we simulate a 10MW PEMEL plant, identify key operational parameters and evaluate future MEA development scenarios to assess their impact on energy consumption, material utilisation, and system durability. Our findings shed light on the potential trade-offs between energy and material efficiency, providing valuable insights to mitigate environmental hotspots. By focusing on these trade-offs, this work contributes significantly to the ongoing efforts to improve the environmental and operational performance of PEMEL plants.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProcedia CIRP
Pages (from-to)958-963
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Event31st CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering - Turin, Italy
Duration: 19 Jun 202421 Jun 2024


Conference31st CIRP Conference on Life Cycle Engineering


  • Life cycle engineering
  • Proton exchange membrane electrolysis
  • Water electrolysis
  • Zero dimensional modelling


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