Sustainable Innovations has delivered a Hydrogen-Based Energy Conservation System (HECS) for recovering hydrogen from various waste streams at NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC). The first of its kind, this fully integrated, solid state system is designed to recover hydrogen released from cryogenic storage or to separate hydrogen from helium used in rocket test operations. Using a proprietary electrochemical process developed by Sustainable Innovations, the HECS system can purify and compress recovered hydrogen to commercial storage pressures, facilitating its reuse for vehicle fueling and other needs. SI was tapped for this development project because of its success in hydrogen fueling pressure at significant scale while avoiding the unacceptable downtime and maintenance pitfalls that have hampered mechanical compressors. As an electrochemical-based process, energy is not wasted during compression and there are no moving parts. The result is a highly reliable system requiring very low maintenance. The HECS system delivered to NASA is the culmination of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I and Phase II efforts. The key objective was to develop the components of a large-scale hydrogen recovery and compression system. The components were designed as a modular building block for a scaled-up system to reclaim and compress large amounts of NASA Stennis Space Center’s (SSC’s) wasted hydrogen and helium. NASA is a major user of both gases, using upwards of 700,000 gallons of cold liquid hydrogen per shuttle rocket flight. As well, NASA uses up to 100 million cubic feet of helium per year, mainly to purge hydrogen fueling lines after firing rocket engines. With the HECS, there is now the ability to recover valuable hydrogen fuel and also separate out and recapture, an extraordinarily valuable and an increasingly scarce resource – helium gas. An important emerging application for electrochemical hydrogen compressors is the fueling of fuel cell vehicles and related energy uses for hydrogen. Currently, compressors are one of the largest capital and operating costs of hydrogen fueling stations, requiring redundancy and added expense for down time and repairs. Reliable and cost effective alternatives to standard mechanical hydrogen compressors are being sought. Sustainable Innovations’ electrochemical hydrogen compressor is an elegant, quiet and effective solution with no moving parts. Sustainable Innovations’ electrochemical hydrogen compression system is part of its H2RENEW™ product line. H2RENEW is an electrochemical system that separates and compresses hydrogen for industrial applications such as specialty metals and semiconductor processing as well as hydrogen energy applications. The heart of the Sustainable Innovations electrochemical hydrogen compression system is a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) platform technology. Since 2009, Sustainable Innovations has consistently and successfully demonstrated cost and performance improvements to its H2RENEW technology.
About Sustainable Innovations:
Sustainable Innovations is fueled by a vision to create a paradigm shift in the way the world uses energy. Led by its founder, Dr. Trent Molter, SI represents over three decades of innovation in the waste and energy industry. From hydrogen renewal systems to long term energy storage products, SI develops and manufactures innovative clean energy products that deliver breakthrough efficiency and are socially responsible, to the economic benefit of companies and the ongoing sustainability of the world.