Agfa’s ZIRFON membranes make alkaline electrolysis the most efficient technology for the production of hydrogen.

Mortsel, Belgium | February 15, 2021 11:00 AM CET

A recent study by the Fraunhofer Institute using Agfa’s ZIRFON separator membranes confirms that the Alkaline ElectroLysis (AEL) technology can be as efficient as the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology and is able to operate at high current densities. This presents AEL as the most cost efficient hydrogen production system.

As an electrolysis technology, AEL is confirmed by the study to have a higher efficiency than PEM but when comparing the efficiency of low temperature electrolyzer systems using respective technologies, PEM used to offer the advantage of operating at higher current densities.

The Fraunhofer report now also shows that when Zirfon membranes and quality electrodes are used, AEL is close to reaching the same current densities as PEM. This presents AEL as the most cost efficient hydrogen production system since both the material investment and operating cost (OPEX) for reaching this level of current densities are notably higher for PEM than AEL, especially in the case of large size installations.

Marc Van Damme, Agfa’s Vice President Electronic Print and Films & Foils, notes: “We are very pleased that independent scientific evidence confirms Agfa’s strategic choice for advanced alkaline electrolysis as the hydrogen production technology of the future.”

The study was performed and the report delivered by Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM, Branch Lab Dresden, Germany.

Green hydrogen gas is produced via electrolysis, a process that uses green electrical power for transforming water into oxygen and hydrogen. These gases are separated by a membrane that is mounted in the very heart of the electrolyzers and determines to a great extent the efficiency and reliability of the hydrogen production system.
ZIRFON membranes for advanced alkaline electrolysis are appreciated by customers around the world for their sustained high productivity even in dynamic operating conditions. Another advantage is their excellent durability, which benefits both the reliability and maintenance cost of the electrolyzer system. Learn more on

About Agfa
The Agfa-Gevaert Group is a leading company in imaging technology and IT solutions with over 150 years of experience. The Group holds four divisions: Radiology Solutions, HealthCare IT, Digital Print & Chemicals and Offset Solutions. They develop, manufacture and market analogue and digital systems for the healthcare sector, for specific industrial applications and for the printing industry. In 2019, the Group realized a turnover of 2,239 million Euro.
Agfa is a member of Hydrogen Europe that represents the European industry, national associations and research centers active in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector.

ZIRFON, Agfa and the Agfa rhombus are trademarks of Agfa-Gevaert N.V., Belgium, or its affiliates.

Nick Valckx, Business Development Manager H2 Membranes