The Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) in Bhavnagar has developed a membrane technology that is expected to revolutionize the production of green hydrogen. The new membrane will significantly reduce production costs and make green hydrogen more accessible to businesses and consumers.
The new indigenous membrane has been designed to replace the imported 'perfluorinated sulfonic acid polymer membrane', which is currently used in the electrolysis process to separate hydrogen and oxygen from water to generate electricity. The imported membrane costs around Rs 50,000 per sq m, whereas the new membrane developed by the CSMCRI costs only Rs 3,000 per sq m.
The CSMCRI team, with financial support from ONGC Energy Center Trust, filed for an international patent in 2019 in countries such as the US, Europe, Japan, the UK, France, and China. They received the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) patent, which enables the inventor to get patent protection in several countries simultaneously.
The CSMCRI officials have transferred the technology to GFCL Solar and Green Hydrogen Products Ltd for Rs 2.05 crore. The new membrane is expected to halve the current cost of green hydrogen production in India, which is between Rs 320 to 350 per kg.
This development is a significant step towards achieving the goals of the 'Hydrogen Mission' and will help give pace to the development of green production of energy-intensive industries of fertilizers, steel, chemicals, and petroleum. Gujarat has set a target of setting up green hydrogen generating capacity of 8 million tonnes per annum (MPTA) over the next 10-12 years, according to the industries minister Balwantsinh Rajput.