Desalted seawater for green hydrogen production



A Californian hydrogen developer and a Dutch desalination company have entered into a new partnership.

While electrochemical batteries can serve many of our needs, from mobile devices to vehicles to grid-scale storage, applications such as heavy-duty transportation and industrial processes require vast amounts of energy, making hydrogen an attractive alternative.

More than 80% of the price of hydrogen is spent on the electricity needed to split the water atom in a process called electrolysis. When hydrogen production is combined with low-cost, emission-free sources of electricity such as solar or wind power, it is considered “green hydrogen”.

Ohmium, a California-based company developing green hydrogen electrolyzers, has found a partner in Aquastill, a supplier of desalinated water systems. Both work together to produce green hydrogen fuel from salt-free seawater.

Aquastill’s desalination device uses waste heat as input and utilizes the residual heat from Ohmium’s electrolysis process. This provides additional benefits for Ohmium system cooling and desalination.

Both companies are currently developing the optimization of system integration. The systems are highly modular and scalable from megawatts to gigawatts. Offshore wind energy was identified as a potential power source for a modular system, and solar energy is often a great fit due to its modularity and capability installed in waterways.

“Using Aquastill’s membrane technology to efficiently produce green hydrogen from seawater is a potential game changer for companies operating in coastal or rural areas that want to reduce carbon dioxide affordably and sustainably,” says Arne Ballantine, CEO of Ohmium International.

Ohmium’s second-generation proton exchange membrane electrolyzer produces 9.0 kg per hour with a four-second ramp-up time. It is compatible three-phase 480 VAC/60 Hz, 415 VAC/50 Hz or 400 VAC/50 Hz with optional DC integration.

The US Department of Energy (DoE) is working to lower the cost of green hydrogen. Launched in 2021, the Hydrogen Shot program has a 1-1-1 goal of paying $1 per kilogram in 1 decade. In 2022, renewable energy hydrogen cost about $5 per kilogram, so this goal represents an 80 percent cost savings in one decade.

DoE’s investments in green hydrogen are increasing. In 2021, it supported $285 million in funding, and in 2022, the president’s fiscal year 2022 budget request included a request for $400 million in funds for green hydrogen development.

Photo: Ministry of Energy

David is a passionate writer and researcher who specializes in solar energy. He has a strong background in engineering and environmental science, which gives him a deep understanding of the science behind solar power and its benefits. David writes about the latest developments in solar technology and provides practical advice for homeowners and businesses who are interested in switching to solar.

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