Rolls-Royce enters hydrogen market

Rolls-Royce has acquired 54% majority stake in electrolysis stack specialist Hoeller Electrolyzer, which develops fuel cells and electrolyzers suitable for mass production.

Company’s innovative technology will form the basis of a new range of mtu electrolyzer products from Rolls-Royce Power Systems division.

Hoeller Electrolyzer, based in Wismar, Germany, is an early-stage technology company that is developing highly efficient polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) stacks, under the brand name Prometheus, for the cost-effective production of hydrogen.

“By developing our own mtu electrolyzers and by taking a majority stake in Hoeller Electrolyzers, we are methodically growing our hydrogen portfolio and securing access to this fascinating technology, which is not a pipe dream but has great market potential,” Otto Preiss, Chief Technology Officer, at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.

In hydrogen electrolysis, water is subjected to DC electrical current, producing hydrogen at the negative pole and oxygen at the positive pole. In this way, it is possible to produce carbon-neutral hydrogen by using electricity from renewable sources such as solar or wind. The electrochemical reaction takes place in a cell between plate-shaped electrodes separated by membranes. Hundreds of cells located one above the other and pressed together form a ‘stack’, the heart of an electrolyzer.

Hoeller Electrolyzer is one of the few highly specialised expert players in the field of high-efficiency PEM electrolysis stacks.

Through the transaction, Rolls-Royce and Hoeller Electrolyzer are committed to zero-carbon energy both for power supply and the propulsion of heavy vehicles. Rolls-Royce is going to develop a complete electrolyzer system and has a global sales and service network, which opens up the potential for significant worldwide sales.

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