(24-26 June 2019)
Trakya University, Edirne

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Steven B. BEALE


Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH

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Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-3
Jülich 52425, Germany
Presentation Title Mathematical Modeling of Fuel Cells and Electrolyzers – A Review

Mathematical models can provide insight into the performance of fuel cells and electrolyzers at a number of length-scales: Cell models are at the heart of electrochemical engineering applications. These are typically based on either computing the local ideal potential and subtracting losses, or by obtaining solutions to the full electric field equations in both ionic and electronic regions. For low temperature polymer electrolyte cells, two-phase liquid-gas flow, including evaporation/condensation, must be taken into account, as well as oxygen solution effects. The choice of closure constants is important, but these are difficult to obtain in practice. Effective properties, such as diffusivities and permeabilities, can be obtained by performing micro-scale calculations of representative elements of volume, which may be obtained from discretizing 3-D samples. Inter-phase drag and heat/mass transfer factors may also be obtained from volume-of-fluid and other techniques in the channels and porous layers. Detailed stack models generally require enormous computational resources and may therefore be supplanted with volume-averaging techniques that provide 90% of the information at 10% of the cost.

A model without validation and verification is of little value. It is shown with local measurements of current density and concentration of reactants, that the mathematical models are correct: While physical experiments are important, the present generation of experimental techniques cannot match the level of detail of current models that display information in terms of local extrema that no experiment can capture.


Steven Beale has been conducting research in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and numerical heat and mass transfer for over 30 years. He first built a computational model of a solid oxide fuel cell stack in 2000. Since then, he has built models of both solid oxide and polymer-electrolyte fuel cells at the micro, cell and stack scales using both in-house and commercial CFD codes. For the last 10 years, open source software was employed extensively in his research group, which has included professional programmers, undergraduate and postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The open source paradigm is well suited for high performance computing (HPC) facilities and for international collaborations. Prof. Beale is personally collaborating with several developers of popular open source software developers. He spearheaded the development of the openFuelCell project, which is available online at sourceForge. Prof. Beale is also the operating agent (chair) of Annex 37 of the International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Fuel Cells – fuel cell modelling. He has been an adjunct professor in the department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s University, Canada, since 2003. In addition, Prof. Beale has given a number of invited talks at international workshops, as well as prestigious research establishments such as NASA, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Imperial College, London.


Affiliation Paris-Sud University, Orsay, France.
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Presentation Title Industrial water electrolysis: state-of-art, limitations & perspectives.

Water dissociation by electrolysis is an old and mature process of the chemical industry. In the frame of the energy transition, it is considered as a cornerstone technology for the large scale production of molecular hydrogen and for energy storage. Modern water electrolysers use different cell design and components, and operate at quite different temperature and pressure, to produce this hydrogen. The most popular and advanced techniques found on the market are the so-called “alkaline”, “PEM” (Proton Exchange Membrane) and, to a lesser extent, “solid oxide” processes. Up to now, most water electrolysis plants have been operated at quasi-constant power, for the stationary production of hydrogen which is then used as chemical in various downstream processes. New applications (in particular those related to the energy-value of electrolytic hydrogen) are emerging, bringing new operational constraints and requiring customized designs. For example, the use of transient power sources such as photovoltaic panels or wind turbines, or the grid connection for grid balancing operation. Such applications require better process flexibility and reactivity: improvements are needed at system level to comply with new operating requirements.

The purpose of this communication is to provide an overview of the state of art in the field of water electrolysis, to discuss some specific limitations and to provide future development perspectives. The design and operational characteristics of main water electrolysis technologies are described. Different indicators are used to compare their performances at stack and balance-of-plant levels: (i) the specific energy consumption and efficiency; (ii) the coulombic efficiency; (iii) the ability to operate in flexible and reactive conditions in order to meet power grid requirements; (iv) some safety indicators related to H2/O2 cross-permeation; (v) the long-term durability of performances; (vi) the hydrogen cost (capex/opex analysis). Experimental results obtained on MW-scale systems are used to support the discussion.


P. Millet is an electrochemical engineer, Professor of material science and physical-chemistry at Paris-Sud University, France. He graduated in 1986 from the French “Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Electrochimie et d’Electrométallurgie de Grenoble” (ENSEEG) at the “Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble” (INPG). He completed his PhD thesis on water electrolysis in 1989, at the French “Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires de Grenoble” (CEA-CENG). He is currently heading the “Laboratory of Research and Innovation in Electrochemistry for Energy applications” (, at the French “Institute of Molecular Chemistry and Material Science” (ICMMO, Paris-Sud University). His research activities focus on catalyst development for electrochemical and photo-electrochemical reactions of societal interest. In terms of applications (electrochemical engineering developments), his interest focuses mainly on water electrolysis, water photo-dissociation, carbon dioxide electro- and photo-reduction, hydrogen storage in hydride-forming materials, hydrogen compression and hydrogen permeation across metallic membranes.

Makoto Ryo HARADA

National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology Tokyo, Japan.
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Presentation Title Current State of Japan's Hydrogen Energy - From R&D at Academic Sectors to Business Deployment.

This presentation is to announce the present situation of hydrogen energy in Japan. Japan have been implementing technologically building fuel cell systems, but in the future Japan will aim for an energy system that combines renewable energy and hydrogen energy.

In the current stages of Japan, there are still several important issues such as hydrogen production, transports and storage. However, Japan changed its policy and made it a priority to aim for the construction of a hydrogen energy society. Japan's policy is changing.

The combination of hydrogen energy with renewable energy is also in progress. Renewable energy is attracting high attention in the world from the sight of SDGs. In this case, energy storage and control of fluctuating output of renewable energy (solar and wind) are of great importance.

For this reason, hydrogen storage is used in two ways, high pressure gas tank type and hydrogen storage alloy type. Therefore, rather than conducting hydrogen production from fossil fuels such as Ene-farm, which is a conventional system, development of a hydrogen production system from renewable energy is focused. Since this system does not emit carbon dioxide, it is called SDGs type hydrogen energy system. This presentation will proposes and announce this system.


Makoto R. HARADA is a chemical-engineer, National Institute of Applied Science and Technology (AIST) Research Institute for Chemical Process Technology, Japan. And TOKAI University Department of Human Development—Environment and Resources course.
He completed his PhD thesis on hydrogen energy and natural gas technology in 2006, at Tokyo Institute of Technology.
AIST conducts research and guidance on chemical engineering research and forecasts. At Tokai University, while teaching basic physics, future education is the subject of research.
He has also worked in private companies such as Toshiba and has done a wide range of research, from basic research to practical use.
Most recently, he published Science and Engineering of hydrogen-based energy technologies from ELSEVIER.
His specialties are catalytic reaction engineering and material science, but recently he is interested in predicting the future by AI applying computer science.


Affiliation University of Montpellier, France
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Presentation Title B-H and B-N-H materials for chemical hydrogen storage

One of the major obstacles hindering the deployment of the eagerly-expected “hydrogen economy” is hydrogen storage. Over the past decade, several approaches have been developed, including physical, physicochemical, and purely chemical storages. In our lab, we focused our efforts on solid- and liquid-state boron- and/or nitrogen-based materials (i.e. B-H and B-N-H materials) for chemical hydrogen storage.

B-H and B-N-H materials have attracted much attention primarily due to high gravimetric hydrogen densities (rH = 10-20 wt%) and “low” dehydrogenation temperatures (<50°C in hydrolytic conditions, and <200°C in thermolytic conditions). Despite irreversibility of storage, this kind of materials has some prospects thanks to existing chemical recycling/regeneration schemes. A first typical, and old, example is sodium borohydride NaBH4 (rH = 10.8 wt% H). It is attractive as it is able to fast release up to 7 wt% H2 by hydrolysis at 20-80°C when e.g. a cobalt-based catalyst is used. Importantly, water provides half of the generated hydrogen, such as: NaBH4 + 4H2O ® NaB(OH)4 + 4H2. The reaction is based on the reaction of the hydridic Hd- hydrogens of NaBH4 and the protic Hd+ hydrogens of H2O. A second typical, and old, example is ammonia borane NH3BH3 (rH = 19.5 wt% H). Like sodium borohydride, it is able to produce H2 by hydrolysis in the presence of a catalyst. However, the great interest we have on ammonia borane is related to the presence, in each of the molecule, of protic Hd+ and hydridic Hd- hydrogens that are in intra- and inter-molecular interactions Hd+---Hd- (so-called dihydrogen bonding). Such properties explain the solid state of the compound below 100°C, and the formation of H2 above 100°C through a two-step process summarized as follows: xNH3BH3 ® [-NHBH-]x + 2xH2.

Based on our knowledge on both of the aforementioned compounds, we have developed a series of alternative and/or new B-H and B-N-H materials for chemical hydrogen storage, as well as for as potential fuel of direct liquid fuel cells. The 4th International Hydrogen Technologies Congress (IHTEC-2019) will thus be a great opportunity to give an overview of B-H and B-N-H materials, present few of them more in details, and discuss about their application prospects.


Umit B. DEMIRCI received his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 2002 at the University of Strasbourg, France, with a thesis work on heterogeneous catalysis (i.e. platinum supported-sulfated zirconia for hydro-isomerization/cracking of linear alkanes). He then had several professional experiences as research engineer (on catalysis for soot oxidation) and post-doctorate fellow (on electrocatalysis for borohydride oxidation and catalysis for hydrogen release by hydrolysis of sodium borohydride). In 2007, Umit B. DEMIRCI was recruited as associate professor at the University of Lyon I, France, focusing on hydrogen storage/generation, boron-based materials as hydrogen carriers, and heterogeneous catalysis. In 2011, he was transferred at the University of Montpellier, France. Now (since 2015), Umit B. DEMIRCI is professor at the University of Montpellier. He still works on e.g. boron- and nitrogen-based materials for energy (i.e. hydrogen storage and fuel of direct liquid-fed fuel cell) while keeping an activity in heterogeneous catalysis for H2 production. Recently he has started a new research activity dedicated to new amine boranes. Umit B. DEMIRCI (orcid id 0000-0003-3616-1810) has co-authored, among others, more than 130 peer-reviewed papers. He has editorial responsibilities since several years, for example as assistant editor for International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.

4th International Hydrogen Technologies Congress / June 20-23, 2019 / Trakya University, Edirne, Turkey