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Circulating demineralised water in a hydrogen generator

This application note provides an overview of the successful use of polypropylene and pvdf construction centrifugal pumps for circulation duties in a hydrogen power refuelling system.


The transportation industry is developing new methods of powering vehicles to meet the growing demand for greener low emissions solutions. Electric and hybrid cars are now commonplace, and hydrogen fuel is beginning to be utilised as another clean alternative to petrol and diesel. Hydrogen fuel requires specialist refuelling stations, and ITM Power in Sheffield manufacture and supply self contained refuelling modules for hydrogen powered road vehicles and forklift trucks.


ITM Power’s refuelling station generates hydrogen by electrolysis, compresses and stores it, and dispenses the gas on demand at high pressure. As part of the electrolysis process, demineralised water must be pumped to the electrolyser without contamination or leakages. A 316 stainless steel centrifugal unit had been tested for the duty initially, however the demineralised water corroded and discoloured the stainless, hence a non-metallic solution was sought.


Finish Thompson DB-series centrifugal pumps have been used in various sizes for the demineralised water circulation duties for several stations. These seal-less close coupled units have been supplied in polypropylene construction and also in PVDF for explosion proof areas.

Aritra Dalal, process engineer at ITM commented:

“ITM is a growing energy storage solutions company, and MSE has been very helpful with pump specifications and design requirements, which are vital to our products. Additionally MSE’s ability to customise and supply pumps quickly to suit technical and regulatory requirements, along with competitive pricing and prompt support, have been second to none.”


Polypropylene or PVDF pump head Corrosion resistant Can pump a wide variety of corrosive liquids wihtout contamination
Carbon graphite bearing Dry running  Can dry run for short periods without damage 
Magnetically driven  Seal-less design, no leakages  No spillage of potentially harmfull liquids, no wastage 
Close coupled Compact design  More plant workspace 
Certain models are ATEX compliant Meets ATEX requirements Can be used in hazardous areas