Thyssenkrupp makes a splash in water electrolysis by launching a highly efficient alkaline electrolyzer

November 26, 2018 | Case Study

Thyssenkrupp is best known as one of the world's largest steel producers, but the company is also a leader in the electrolysis industry due to its vast expertise in building electrolysis cells for the chlor-alkali industry. Throughout its history, the company has completed over 600 electrochemical plants for the chlorine industry worldwide. In 2016, Thyssenkrupp launched the Carbon2Chem project, an initiative that aims to reduce carbon emissions in the steel industry by upcycling steel mill flue gases into chemicals. Steel mill gas comprises 44% nitrogen, 23% carbon monoxide, 21% carbon dioxide, 10% hydrogen, and 2% methane. Given that carbon and hydrogen are essential building blocks for alcohols and both can be found in steel mill gas, Thyssenkrupp was targeting methanol as one of the first products. However, the hydrogen content of steel mill gas was too low for methanol production, which led Thyssenkrupp to leverage its expertise in electrolysis to develop a novel water electrolyzer to supply additional renewable hydrogen for methanol production. A 2 MW pilot-scale water electrolyzer system was completed in April 2018. 

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