Conventional compression of hydrogen is often faced with low efficiencies and high compressor costs. Electrochemical compression forms a promising alternative because the electrochemical cells are cheap and offer a high energy efficiency for the compression >90% with 80% hydrogen recovery.
Conventionally hydrogen is produced via steam reforming. In the future more renewable hydrogen is expected to be produced. Renewable hydrogen can be produced via water electrolysis, biomass fermentation and gasification. The latter two produce gas mixtures containing CO (~1%) and CO2 (~ 25%).
For electrochemical hydrogen compression Pt catalysts are commonly used. These catalyst are prone to CO (typically a maximum of 10 ppm) and therefore renewable hydrogen would destroy the compression cell if used. Because the compression of the CO:hydrogen mixtures is especially interesting CO-tolerance of electrochemical hydrogen compression is researched.