Hydrogen technology is booming in Western Canada.
BC-based Ionomr Innovations, a manufacturer and designer of next-generation ion exchange membranes and polymers for clean energy systems, has partnered with Sunfire to create an AEM electrolyzer.
The Swiss-and-German Sunfire is a global leader in producing industrial electrolyzers based on pressurized alkaline and solid oxide technologies.
The collaboration will leverage expertise from the University of Alberta, among other organizations including Simon Fraser University and the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden.
An expert in hydrogen research, the University of Alberta is attending the Canadian Hydrogen Convention this week. It is Canada’s largest event to showcase hydrogen as an enabler to reach net-zero emissions.
Meanwhile Ionomr will be receiving advisory services and funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program to support this collaborative research and development project.
“We are excited about this collaboration with Sunfire and the progress it signals with our AEM products,” said Ionomr Innovations CEO Bill Haberlin.
The collaboration aims to create a device in the upper double-digit kW range for industrial scale-up using Ionomr’s Aemion+ Anion Exchange membranes. The goal of the project is to eliminate the traditional expensive components for water electrolysis and replace them with less expensive materials to maximize performance.
“Initial discussions indicated the need for over 10,000-hour stability tests to warrant further development, which the Ionomr team has clearly demonstrated, and served as the launching point for commercial product development,” continued Haberlin.
Aemion membranes developed by Ionomr do not use fluorinated PFAS materials that are increasingly regulated worldwide due to their toxic effects on the environment and human health. This makes Aemion+ a more sustainable alternative for fuel cells, hydrogen production, and carbon capture, use, and conversion.
“We are very pleased about the growing momentum we are creating in this field and the impact it has on accelerating the Green Hydrogen market,” Haberlin said.
Conceived in 2016 at Simon Fraser University by PhD chemistry student Dr. Benjamin Britton, Ionomr was founded in 2018 and employs dozens of professionals across Vancouver and New York, where it has opened a research and development facility.
Other examples of hydrogen advancement in Alberta include the Hydrogen Centre of Excellence, which was launched by Alberta Innovates in order to accelerate technology and innovation across the hydrogen value chain, closing gaps to strengthen Alberta’s hydrogen economy and provide support across the entire hydrogen system, from production to end use.