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SoCalGas and EVOLOH Research Project Helps Make Hydrogen and Electrolyzer Production More Affordable

Jul 3, 2024

LOS ANGELES and SANTA CLARA, Calif.July 3, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and EVOLOH Inc., an anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolyzer technology developer, have completed a joint research project that resulted in enhancements to the current electrolyzer manufacturing process and technology. Overall, the enhancements achieved in the project could reduce the capital costs of the electrolyzer technology by approximately 25% and could help make the cost of clean renewable hydrogen more affordable.

EVOLOH’s AEM is made with readily available materials and utilizes a roll-to-roll manufacturing process. This enables a shorter and more reliable supply chain as well as a lower-cost, rapid production process for electrolyzer stack development. The project was able to achieve a 15% increase in hydrogen production efficiency to EVOLOH’s Nautilus™ series electrolyzer stack, the core component of an electrolyzer that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. The increased efficiency also helps extend the equipment lifetime of the stacks compared to traditional techniques.

“Meeting the growing demand for clean renewable hydrogen production will require an extraordinary expansion of the current electrolyzer market,” said Jawaad Malik, chief strategy and sustainability officer at SoCalGas. “Innovative projects like this can help significantly reduce electrolyzer system costs and production time and enable clean renewable hydrogen production to become more cost competitive with traditional energy sources.”

SoCalGas’ Research, Development, and Demonstration (RD&D) Program helped fund the project and provided technical assistance with EVOLOH’s development of high-speed coating methods for AEM electrolyzers. The electrolyzer stacks are designed to be compact, modular and are capable of being scaled up to 24 megawatts each, which makes them well-suited for large-scale industrial applications.

“Currently, electrolyzer manufacturing and hydrogen production is expensive. Electrolyzers can be difficult to make, transport and install, and certain current technologies require problematic supply chains,” said Dr. Jimmy Rojas, EVOLOH’s chief executive officer. “When our technology is produced using renewable energy, hydrogen becomes a versatile, flexible and carbon-free energy platform that opens up new pathways for tackling some of the thorniest climate problems—like heavy transport, steelmaking, fertilizer production and long duration storage.”

The technology will soon be scaled up at EVOLOH’s new manufacturing Center of Excellence in Lowell, Massachusetts with a goal of producing 3.75GW per year by 2025 in electrolyzer stacks and up to 15GW in 2027. EVOLOH will also begin MW-scale testing at its new headquarters in Santa Clara, California later this year.

SoCalGas’ RD&D Program plays a key role in developing and demonstrating innovative products and technologies that can promote decarbonization across the natural gas value chain and a diversified portfolio of cleaner energy sources. Learn more about how SoCalGas is working to help shape California’s 21st century energy system at socalgas.com/rdd.

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