The cost of producing clean hydrogen fuel is expected to drop precipitously with the launch of a highly efficient electrolyzer from Bloom Energy.

According to the company, the solid oxide technology-based system can be powered with multiple energy sources including intermittent renewable energy and excess heat. Designed to operate at high temperatures, the Bloom Electrolyzer is reportedly up to 45% more efficient than other available products. The system consumes 15% less electricity than other electrolyzer technologies to make hydrogen when electricity is the sole input source.

By tapping excess heat produced in the steel, chemical, cement and glass manufacturing sectors, hydrogen can be produced at a higher electrical efficiency. The hydrogen required to power high-temperature furnaces at these facilities can be produced on-site using Bloom Energy electrolyzers, eliminating transportation and distribution costs.

The company is now collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory to test the use of nuclear energy to produce clean hydrogen through the Bloom Electrolyzer. Rather than ramping down power generation when an electric grid has surplus energy, the Bloom Electrolyzer can use the excess electricity and steam generated by nuclear plants to produce low-cost hydrogen, providing clean energy while simultaneously offering nuclear power plants a source of revenue for their excess power.

Bloom Energy is also partnering with Baker Hughes to pair the Bloom Electrolyzer with Baker Hughes’ compression technology for efficient production, compression, transport and storage of hydrogen. The initiative will also assess excess heat utilization for steam generation to further increase efficiency and cost effectiveness of hydrogen production and target applications like blending hydrogen into natural gas networks alongside on-site hydrogen production for industrial use.

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com