Electrochemical Energy Systems
New electrochemical energy systems enable electrification of processes that are traditionally thermal or thermochemical. This allows for the utilization of the low-cost intermittent electricity that is coming online as renewable generation costs fall. Such systems can also enable economic operation at a huge range of size scale; rampable production capacity; low capital cost (due to both moderate operating conditions and mass production manufacturing learning curves); and flexible deployment and maintenance. Small modular systems could enable a range of future energy outcomes, from stranded renewable resources becoming chemical or fuel production plants, to eliminating the cost and safety hazards of transporting compressed gases, to enabling massive redundancy and infrastructure security.
PARC scientists are developing numerous systems that embody this small modular energy future. For example, we are creating an electrochemical synthesis system to enable on-site production of ammonia (an important fertilizer chemical) with inputs of only air, water, and renewable electricity. We have also developed a desalination battery designed to simultaneously desalinate water while shifting electrical load. In places where desalinated water and electricity storage (high renewables penetration) are needed, this battery allows efficient use of capital to perform both of these functions inexpensively. We have a number of efforts in gas separations and concentration. Many of our electrochemical system projects leverage new membranes created in the polymeric and composite materials area.
Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.
We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for Commercialization.