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BPCL teams up with BARC to scale up alkaline electrolyzer tech for green hydrogen production

Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) aims to help build about 1 MW electrolyzer manufacturing capacity in the country by 2025 using the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre’s (BARC) technology for green hydrogen, a company executive said.

BPCL’s research and development division is working with BARC to scale up alkaline electrolyzer technology for green hydrogen production. The cost of an alkaline electrolyzer can be potentially halved with some technological and economic innovations, said Bharat L Newalkar, chief general manager (R&D), BPCL.

The company plans to get a third party to set up the electrolyzer-making facility, he said, adding that the alkaline electrolyzers produced from the proposed facility will likely cost 20-30% less than the current rate of about $800 per kw.

About 55 kwh of renewable electricity is needed to produce a kilogram of green hydrogen. To make green hydrogen viable, capital, as well as operating expenditure, must go down, said Ravikumar V, head of R&D at BPCL. Innovation, as well as government support, would be needed to reduce green hydrogen costs, he added. Producing green hydrogen costs triple that of grey hydrogen today.

Most state-run refiners are planning to begin production of green hydrogen to partly replace the heavy volume of grey hydrogen they mainly use for removing sulphur from the fuel.

BPCL’s R&D division has also designed a more efficient LPG cooking stove burner that can help save a cylinder’s worth of gas every year for a household, said Ravikumar. Stoves in the market have a fuel efficiency of 68% while the BPCL’s new model has an efficiency of 74%. Both burners cost the same. More than 70,000 stoves using BPCL’s burners have already been sold to customers, he said.

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