REVAL: Reversible alkaline anion exchange membrane electrolysis


Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Zwanzig20
Funding amount IWES: 496,846 EUR
Partner: Fraunhofer IFAM, Fumatech, H-TEC Systems
Duration: 08/2019 - 09/2022


  • In the course of the project, the technology readiness level (TRL) of reversible AEM electrolysis (rAEM) should be raised from TRL 2 at present to TRL 5
  • The project goal is a functioning rAEM short stack with 10 kW electrolysis capacity as a laboratory setup
  • and also the development and testing of a novel reversible electrolysis technology for efficient harvesting of hydrogen from renewable energies and its reconversion

This AEM (anion exchange membrane) technology works with a similar concept to the classic PEM (proton exchange membrane) technology, but far more cost-efficient materials for the membrane can be used, catalysts (precious metal-free), and bipolar plates (titanium-free).

The particular challenges are to be found:

  • in improving the chemical stability of AEMs even at high current densities;
  • in testing suitable electrocatalysts, which are suitable for both the electrolysis and the fuel cell mode; and
  • in the design and testing of a cell structure suitable for reversible operation.

Fraunhofer IWES research topics:

  • MEA production and laboratory tests (electrolysis and fuel cell)
  • Material diagnostics (in cooperation with Fraunhofer IMWS)
  • Simulation for flow field optimization (in cooperation with Fraunhofer IMWS / CSP)