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Low-temperature electrolysis (VEL & EEL)


Low-temperature electrolysis (e.g. alkaline or PEM water electrolysis) enables high-performance and compact hydrogen production that can be combined with energy storage and transport systems. This method represents a key technology that will contribute to the realization of an environmentally friendly, reliable, and affordable energy supply for the future.

In alkaline water electrolysis, potassium hydroxide is used as the electrolyte solution. Furthermore, noble metals are not used for the catalyst material. In contrast, PEM electrolysis uses a proton-conducting membrane as the electrolyte, and its system configuration has a comparatively simple structure.

Scientists at the Electrochemistry Electrolysis (EEL) and Process Engineering Electrolysis (VEL) departements investigate electrolysis technology at various stages of development and for different system sizes. This includes research and development in the fields of alkaline electrolysis, PEM electrolysis, and alkaline PEM electrolysis. Increasing the efficiency and improving the long-term stability of components is at the centre of all activities. Scientists at both departments make use of the competences listed below, which hold the key to further development.

Focus EEL

The department’s focus is the development of nanostructures, catalysts, electrodes and membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for PEM and alkaline water electrolyzers. These electrochemical energy converters should contribute to the improved use of renewable energy sources. For this purpose, electrochemical investigations are carried out to select suitable components and optimize membranes and catalysts, as well as the production, optimization and characterization of MEAs.

Electrochemical Analysis

Electrochemical Analysis

• Screening of materials and components
• Characterization of gas permeability, conductivity, and durabili
• Physico-chemical examination of components
• Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy

MEA Development

Membrane electrode assemblies

• Catalyst screening
• Catalyst and membrane benchmarking
• Development of catalyst inks
• Investigation of coating techniques
• Manufacturing of CCMs and MEAs at laboratory scale

Focus VEL

The departmental focus is the development of stack and system components for electrolyzers based on polymer electrolyte membranes (PEMs), and also for alkaline water electrolysis. In addition to electrochemical investigations for the optimization of cell components and the characterization of membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), procedural investigations for the development of stacks and systems are also being carried out. These are supported by modeling and simulation calculations, which are also used for the development of new control and regulatory approaches. In addition, the behavior of electrolyzers in an energy system characterized by renewable energy sources is being investigated.

Corrosion and Interactions

Corrosion and Interactions
• In situ
• Ex situ

Multi Phase Flow

Multi Phase Flow

• Two phase flows in porous layers
• Computer aided design
• Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
• Flow visualization using imaging techniques (neutron and synchrotron radiography and tomography)
• Mechanical characterization of porous layers

Stack Development

Stack Development

• Computer-aided design
• Flow simulation
• Mechanical dimensioning of components
• Quality control
• Electrochemical tests

System Development

System Development

• Modeling of systems
• Construction of test systems on the multi-kilowatt scale
• Development of safety concepts
• Identification of operating windows
• Heat management

• Gas treatment

Team Low Temperature Electrolysis

Team Low Temperature ElectrolysisCopyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich

Additional Information

Head of Department EEL

Dr. Marcelo Carmo
Telefon: : +49 2461 61-5590
Fax: : +49 2461 61-7661
E-Mail: :


Head of Department VEL

Dr. Martin Müller
Telefon: +49 2461 61-1859
Fax: +49 2461 61-6695