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Optimisation of Proton Conducting Ceramic Tubular Cells for Efficient Hydrogen Production

Part of the Emerging Energy Technologies Fund (EETF) Hydrogen Innovation Scheme, £148,000 was awarded to this project. ZEM Fuel Systems is conducting a research in collaboration with The University of St Andrews to produce low-cost hydrogen using novel and highly efficient proton-conducting ceramic tubular cells. ZEM's technology shows great potential for steam electrolysis, and in this project we aim to develop this capability to overcome a significant barrier and create a new technological advancement.

Our main goal at ZEM is to address effective hydrogen production by adjusting and optimising our current fuel cells for running in the reverse direction, electrolysis. Additionally, we will conduct a feasibility study on electrochemically converting steam into hydrogen. ZEM will optimise the components of proton-conducting ceramic tubular cells to operate efficiently under high-temperature electrolysis conditions.


The objective of this project is to achieve low-cost, efficient, durable, and zero carbon-emission hydrogen production. Ultimately, ZEM aims to develop a strategy for early demonstrations at the kilowatt scale. This will pave the way for further commercialization of larger-scale devices, supporting the UK in achieving its goal of 10GW production of low-carbon hydrogen by 2030.



Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition Round 3

The UK Department of Transport is  looking to award over £2 million to a project led by ZEM as a part of the third round of the clean maritime demonstration competition. 

This project builds upon the clean maritime demonstration competition round 1,  with the core activity to develop and demonstrate an operational ammonia fuel cell stack. The objective of this project is to demonstrate a 1kW ammonia fuel cell combined with 5kW auxiliary power unit on board a vessel and shoreside. In addition to St. Andrews University, other partners in this project include  Eyemouth Marine limited, Seaking Electrical limited, Echandia Marine UK Limited,  Moray First Marine Limited, and Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport.

This partnership seeks to implement direct ammonia fuel cells in the maritime transport establishing pathways to early markets. We seek to demonstrate a novel fuel cell syste for direct conversion of ammonia into water and nitrogen, yielding electric power. We seek to exploit anticipated advantages in terms of low cost and long lifetime, allowing the development of a robust and highly competitive product.

Eyemouth Marine
University of St.Andrews
Seaking Group
Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport
Port of Cromarty Firth
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