Bosch develops chemical-free water treatment technology for electrolysis

Bosch has announced that it plans to launch its water treatment systems for use in green hydrogen production in 2024. Designed by Bosch Manufacturing Solutions, the new systems eliminate the need for chemicals in water treatment, making them environmentally friendly, according to the company.

Water treatment forms the first and most fundamental link in the hydrogen value chain. Bosch has developed the water treatment technology for electrolysis at its locations in Renningen, Stuttgart-Feuerbach, and České Budějovice, and external pilot projects are to be added in the course of this year.

With its entry into this new business field, Bosch is closing the circle and rounding off its range of products and services. “We’re developing technology for water treatment as well as for the generation, compression, storage, and use of hydrogen – and doing so for various sectors. Hardly any other company offers such a broad portfolio,” said Dr. Stefan Hartung, chairman of the Bosch board of management.

Electrolyzers require ultrapure water for the production of hydrogen. “Impurities in the water can render electrolyzers inoperative in a very short time,” said Dr. Wolfgang Schleifenbaum, head of the Hydrogen business unit at Bosch Manufacturing Solutions. In the future, hydrogen will be produced in areas with strong winds or abundant sunshine – Africa, South America, or Northern Europe, for example. Locations offshore or in the desert present particular challenges: considerable distances from the technical facilities, water high in salt or minerals – all make water treatment more difficult. As a result, demand for special equipment is expected to be high. Bosch anticipates that starting in 2035, some 500 of the company’s special-purpose water treatment systems will be needed worldwide each year.

The Bosch systems remove minerals from the water by means of thermal and electrochemical processes to obtain ultrapure water. Thanks to a treatment process without filter media, it is possible for operators to completely dispense with the use of chemicals. “Green hydrogen is sustainable only if its production doesn’t cause collateral damage to the environment; for example, by putting chemicals into our already heavily polluted waters,” Dr. Schleifenbaum explained. For predictive maintenance of the equipment, even from far away, Bosch offers software solutions that ensure robust operation in harsh environmental conditions.

For water treatment in developed areas, Bosch plans to expand its portfolio to include industrial systems that use reverse-osmosis processes and ion exchangers to turn tap water into the ultrapure water electrolyzers need. With this combination of industrial and special purpose equipment, the company aims to fulfill the requirements for electrolysis projects worldwide.

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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