Fuel for Thought
Teesside University collaboration to innovate hydrogen production
Mar 30 2023
Teesside University has collaborated with Torvex Energy Limited, a Stockton-based research and development company, to bring its innovative hydrogen production process to market. Torvex has developed a new method of producing hydrogen that uses a 'hybrid electrolysis' concept to generate green hydrogen from natural seawater. Unlike conventional electrolysis, Torvex's process does not co-produce oxygen, resulting in a significant reduction in energy consumption per kilogram of hydrogen produced. This supports the development of a hydrogen economy to meet the growing demand for the fuel as governments and businesses aim to achieve net zero targets.
The Torvex method is almost twice as efficient as existing electrolysis technology, with energy consumption per kilogram of hydrogen produced reduced from 55-60 kWhr to about 25 kWhr due to its hybrid approach. Additionally, conventional electrolysers require highly purified water or strongly alkaline feed, and cannot operate with seawater due to the production of chlorine. A process that uses natural seawater directly is therefore vital.
The Tees Valley Hydrogen Innovation Project (TVHIP) at Teesside University, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), helped Torvex Energy to verify its specific energy consumption and the amount of hydrogen it would produce. The TVHIP supports businesses in the region to identify growth opportunities in the hydrogen and decarbonisation economies and explore potential applications of hydrogen solutions for business growth.
Stewart Hudson, inventor and director of Torvex Energy Limited, expressed gratitude to Teesside University for supporting his company in validating the electrochemical process and identifying optimal routes to scaling the design. With access to highly specialised equipment and support from knowledgeable experts, Torvex Energy can move forward with scaling up with confidence and refining designs for a commercial unit. Teesside University's expertise in hydrogen production, storage, and decarbonisation is also helping transition Tees Valley to a greener and more sustainable means of energy production, establishing the region at the centre of the UK's green revolution.
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