Anion conducting polymer membranes for hydrogen production through alkaline water electrolysis (AlkaPEM)


Hydrogen is the central element in the production of synthetic petroleum substitutes and it is also the ideal fuel for a fuel cell. Pure hydrogen can be produced by splitting water into its constituents by supplying energy to it in the form of electricity. This process is commonly referred to as water electrolysis and it will play a key role in a future energy system based on renewable energy. 

Project overview

Two different water electrolysis technologies are currently dominating the market, using electrolytes of either an aqueous alkaline solution in a porous matrix or an acidic proton exchange polymer membrane. The former is a mature and durable technology using cheap materials. However, it is energy-inefficient and lacks flexibility in terms of scale and dynamic operation capacity. The latter has high hydrogen productivity, high energy efficiency and fast response ability but suffers from high capital cost of key materials and components as well as insufficient long-term durability.

This project is devoted to the development of novel anion conducting polymer based membrane materials, aiming at combining the advantages of both technologies and to circumvent their corresponding drawbacks. The concept is believed to dramatically strengthen the commercial competitiveness of hydrogen production through water electrolysis in terms of reduced capital cost and energy consumption, increased hydrogen production rate and a more compact system design.

Progress reports


The project is funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research │ Technology and Production Science (Grant number 11-117035/FTP).


David Aili
Senior Researcher
DTU Energy
+45 45 25 24 13