Influence from sea water constituents on the efficiency of water electrolysis by PEM-cells

Karsten Agersted, Janet Jonna Bentzen, S. Yde-Andersen

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Among the sea-water specific impurities tested, magnesium has the most profound effect on PEM-cell degradation. Significant amounts of the cation was retrieved in the NAFION®-membrane structure after testing. Degradation was seen from a magnesium concentration as low as 3 10-7 mol/l, and increasing with concentration it led to a 86% increase of the area specific resistance at a concentration of 3 10-5 mol/l; equivalent to a conductivity of ~5 μS/cm. Other species (Cl-, Na+, SO4 2- ) seems to affect, though slowly, the performance negatively. If PEM will be used for electrolysis it seems therefore necessary to purify the feed water to ~1 μS/cm or even further while particularly focusing on the concentrations of polyvalent cations. e.g. magnesium.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event2nd Euro-Mediterranean Hydrogen Technologies Conference - Taormina, Italy
Duration: 9 Dec 201412 Dec 2014


Conference2nd Euro-Mediterranean Hydrogen Technologies Conference
Internet address


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