Hystar has developed an innovative PEM electrolyser for green hydrogen production. “Our patented technology significantly increases the efficiency of hydrogen production. In the big picture, it’s all about making green hydrogen economically viable,” says Magnus Thomassen, co-founder and CPO of Hystar.
Hydrogen is emerging as a key pillar in achieving net-zero economies. But not all hydrogen is created equal. “Green” hydrogen, produced using electricity from renewable sources, is the only completely sustainable solution, while “grey” and “blue” hydrogen are produced from fossil fuels.
“Almost all the hydrogen on the market today is grey. This needs to change. Green hydrogen must become more competitive through lower costs and scaled-up production,” explains Thomassen.
Hystar has developed a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser that produces green hydrogen more efficiently than existing PEM technologies. All PEM electrolysis extracts hydrogen from water. The hydrogen is considered green when renewable energy has been used to power the production process.
However, Hystar has taken PEM electrolysis to the next level. Its unique cell design and process architecture enables the reduction of electricity consumption – saving costs – or increased hydrogen output, significantly lowering the overall cost of green hydrogen production.
“Our PEM electrolysers are far more efficient than conventional ones. In fact, we have the highest output available today. This is due in part to a 90 per cent thinner membrane inside the unit. In a sense, we have put an innovative twist on conventional PEM electrolysis,” says Alejandro Barnett, co-founder and CTO of Hystar.
Hystar’s technology will increase the competitiveness of green hydrogen in a market currently dominated by carbon-intensive grey hydrogen and other fossil fuels.
“We aim for mass manufacturing. This is the only way that green hydrogen can meet the global demand in the future. As such, we have designed a modular, compact product that produces hydrogen with as few materials as possible,” says Thomassen.
“We have also designed our electrolyser with the circular economy in mind, keeping our use of precious metals and construction materials to a minimum. In addition, we are laying the foundation that will enable us to reuse and recycle those materials in the future,” he adds.
Moreover, Hystar’s technology further improves the safety of PEM electrolysis in a hydrogen industry that already has a good safety record.
Hystar has seen the writing on the wall. “We can make a huge contribution to decarbonising various industry sectors and aim to be among the top five PEM electrolysis companies by 2030. We’re motivated by the impact we can make on mitigating climate change,” says Barnett.
“Ultimately, our goal is to meet the global demand for green hydrogen for industrial, renewable power, and transport applications,” adds Thomassen.
Hystar is a recent spinoff of SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations. In the next two years, Hystar will implement several demo projects, including a 1MW-capacity pilot.