22. Status on Technologies for Hydrogen Production by Water Electrolysis

  1. Prof. Detlef Stolten2,3 and
  2. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Viktor Scherer4
  1. Jürgen Mergel,
  2. Marcelo Carmo and
  3. David Fritz

Published Online: 21 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9783527673872.ch22

Transition to Renewable Energy Systems

Transition to Renewable Energy Systems

How to Cite

Mergel, J., Carmo, M. and Fritz, D. (2013) Status on Technologies for Hydrogen Production by Water Electrolysis, in Transition to Renewable Energy Systems (eds D. Stolten and V. Scherer), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527673872.ch22

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, Leo-Brandt-Straße, IEF-3: Fuel Cells, 52425 Jülich, Germany

  2. 3

    Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, IEK-3 Institut für En. & Klimaforschung, Wilhelm-Johnen-Str., 52428 Jülich, Germany

  3. 4

    Ruhr-Universität Bochum LS f. Energieanlagen, IB 3/126 Universitätsstr. 150 LS f. Energieanlagen, IB 3/126 44780 Bochum Germany

Author Information

  1. Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institut für Energie- und Klimaforschung, IEK-3: Elektrochemische, Verfahrenstechnik, 52425 Jülich, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 28 MAY 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527332397

Online ISBN: 9783527673872



  • water electrolysis;
  • alkaline electrolysis;
  • polymer electrolyte membrane;
  • PEM;
  • PEM electrolysis;
  • high-temperature electrolysis;
  • hydrogen production


The electrochemical production of hydrogen by water electrolysis is a well-established technological process worldwide dating back more than 100 years. Since the cost of producing hydrogen by this method is currently higher than that of producing it from fossil energy carriers such as natural gas and coal, at present only about 4% of hydrogen requirements are covered by electrolysis. However, hydrogen is envisaged as a more or less important storage medium or energy carrier for transportation purposes in future energy systems where renewable energy sources are to play a major role in the energy mix. This chapter describes the basic physical and technical principles and the state-of-the-art of the different electrolysis processes such as alkaline electrolysis, polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis and high-temperature electrolysis. In addition, the challenges and the need for research and development for alkaline and PEM electrolysis are identified so that water electrolysis can be realistically and sustainably applied in the mass markets after 2020 for hydrogen production using surplus electricity generated from renewable sources.