Shell and Bloom Energy forge hydrogen alliance

American solid oxide fuel cells producer Bloom Energy has signed an agreement with UK-based energy giant Shell to study decarbonization solutions, utilizing its proprietary hydrogen electrolyzer technology.

Specifically, Bloom and Shell agreed to collaborate on developing replicable, large-scale, solid oxide electrolyzer (SOEC) systems that would produce hydrogen for potential use at Shell assets.

According to Bloom, its SOEC technology can produce clean hydrogen at scale to augment or replace existing fossil fuel-powered “grey” hydrogen supplies produced at refineries by high carbon dioxide-emitting steam-methane reformation.

“This technology could represent a potentially transformative moment for opportunities to decarbonize several hard to abate industry sectors,” said KR Sridhar, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Bloom Energy. “As the world leader in solid oxide electrolyzer technology, we are poised to provide customers around the world with our proprietary, American-made energy technology to both reduce carbon footprint and sustain economic growth.”

The company states that it now has the largest operating electrolyzer manufacturing capacity in the world of any electrolysis technology, double that of its closest rival. It staged a demonstration commencing in May of this year with the world’s largest solid oxide electrolyzer, with a capacity of 4 MW, where it produced 2.4 metric tons of hydrogen per day at the NASA Ames research facility in Mountain View, California.

In addition to production in the U.S., last year, Bloom Energy joined forces with Telam Partners to expand its services, which include electrolyzers and hydrogen, into Spain and Portugal.

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On the other hand, Shell’s hydrogen portfolio includes several projects in varying stages of development. One of them is Holland Hydrogen I, which is expected to be Europe’s largest renewable hydrogen plant once operational in 2025. The 200 MW electrolyzer will be constructed on the Tweede Maasvlakte in the port of Rotterdam and will produce around 60,000-80,000 kilograms of renewable hydrogen per day.

The renewable power for the electrolyzer will come from the offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust (Noord), which is partly owned by Shell.

Other projects include REFYHNE in Germany and the 20 MW power-to-hydrogen electrolyzer and hydrogen refueling stations in China.

Shell is also a part of the project that delivered the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier, Suiso Frontier.