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  • Market Trends and Prospects for China's Hydrogen Energy in 2023

    In the field of fuel cells, carbon paper is the main substrate for the gas diffusion layer of fuel cells, which has been in the "bottleneck" stage for a long time. In 2022, multiple enterprises are financing and constructing, which is expected to accelerate the breakthrough of the "last barrier" for the localization of fuel cell materials.

    In terms of proton exchange membranes, the proton exchange membrane projects of Dongyue Future Hydrogen Energy Wuhan Green Action, a local enterprise, have achieved local breakthroughs in demonstration areas such as Zibo and Beijing.

    In terms of catalysts, we are entering customer validation and making a breakthrough towards mass production. In terms of gas diffusion layer, some local enterprises have already supplied a small amount.

    In terms of membrane electrodes, they have already occupied the mainstream of shipment volume. With the development of domestic PEM hydrogen production equipment technology, various core materials will gradually be domestically produced. With the support of scale and policy guidance, costs will gradually be reduced.

    In the field of seawater hydrogen production, with the continuous improvement of the seawater hydrogen production industry chain in various aspects such as hydrogen production, storage, and transportation, seawater hydrogen production is expected to bring broad development space to related industries, driving the development of multiple fields such as marine equipment, electrolytic tanks, marine clean energy, and maritime transportation.

    The first domestic integrated project of mudflat photovoltaic energy storage and seawater hydrogen production was officially launched in Dalian, and Turing Kechuang released high-efficiency seawater electrolysis hydrogen production equipment and innovative energy utilization solutions. Xie Heping, an academician of the CAE Member, and his scientific research team have established a new principle and technology of in-situ direct electrolysis of seawater without desalination driven by phase change migration from a new idea of combining physical mechanics and electrochemistry. This technology can isolate seawater ions while realizing efficient in-situ direct electrolysis of seawater without desalination process, side reaction, and additional energy consumption.

    In the field of hydrogen metallurgy, Shanghai University and enterprises have jointly completed the development and experiment of blast furnace hydrogen rich smelting technology using pure hydrogen as the injection gas source, achieving a reduction of coke ratio by more than 10%, a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by more than 10%, and an increase in iron production by more than 13%. The technology of large-scale safe use of hydrogen gas in steel production has achieved a breakthrough.

    In the field of patented technology, according to a joint study on patents by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), although hydrogen production technology has accounted for the largest number of hydrogen patents in the past decade, the development of hydrogen technology is shifting towards low emission solutions such as electrolysis. Low emission innovation generates more than twice the number of international patents in various aspects of the hydrogen value chain compared to existing technologies.

    At the same time, patent applications in the automotive industry continue to grow, mainly led by Japan. China has deployed complete vehicles, systems, and stacks in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry chain, but there are still very few companies related to fuel cell components, especially basic key materials and components such as proton exchange membranes, carbon paper, catalysts, air compressors, and hydrogen circulation pumps, which still need to accelerate technological breakthroughs.

    However, some companies have launched fully off grid, large-scale alkaline electrolytic cell mass production products with "ALK cost+PEM performance", achieving the characteristics of "alkaline price and PEM performance", and achieving technological leadership in four aspects: current density, power and water consumption, dynamic response, and small/lightweight volume.



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