High efficiency CuCl electrolyzer for Cu-Cl thermochemical cycle

Rich S. Schatz, Soohyun Kim, Sanchit Khurana, Mark Valentinovich Fedkin, Serguei Lvov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The Cu-Cl thermochemical cycle is a promising technology for hydrogen production due to moderate temperature requirements and compatibility with commercially demonstrated renewable heat sources, such as the solar power tower. CuCl/HCl electrolysis, the main hydrogen-producing step of the cycle, has been investigated using a newly developed electrolyzer system supplemented by a number of electrochemical characterization techniques. Nafionbased membranes and Pt/C catalysts were used to prepare membrane electrode assemblies for these tests. The anolyte contained 1 to 2 mol·L-1 CuCl dissolved in 6 mol·L-1 HCl(aq), and the catholyte was a 6 mol·L -1 HCl(aq) solution. The results of the study showed that the applied potential of 0.7 V can produce the current density around 0.5 A·cm -2 for a period of 24 hours at a temperature of 80 °C and ambient pressure. The hydrogen production efficiency was found to be at 91-99 % without any decline during the test. No copper deposition was observed after the test on any component of the electrolyzer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-164
Number of pages12
JournalECS Transactions
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)


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