Europe funds a project by the University of Valencia aimed at developing high-efficiency technologies to produce green hydrogen

Representatives of the consortium, with Iker Marcaide, CEO Matteco (left) and Go
Representatives of the consortium, with Iker Marcaide, CEO Matteco (left) and Gonzalo Abellán (second from the right).
The European Commission has awarded 3 million euros to the Seal-Hydrogen project, an initiative aimed at improving the efficiency and boosting the scalability of a new generation of electrolysers to produce green hydrogen, the clean energy of the future. Led by the University if Valencia (UV) and in a consortium with its spin-off Matecco, Siemens Energy, Grupo Horiba and the HI ERN, the project is part of the European Hydrogen Strategy through Research and Innovation Actions (RIA-HEurope).

Seal-Hydrogen, a project funded by the European Executive Research Agency (REA), is developing a new high-efficiency electrolyser that reduces the costs of producing green hydrogen, an essential element for the energy transition and the decarbonisation of the economy, in line with the global objective of combating the effects of climate change.

Green hydrogen produced through electrolysis -separation of water molecules into their two components using renewable energyis a promising alternative in the transition towards a more sustainable energy system, since it is an energy source that only emits water vapour and does not leave residues in the atmosphere. However, the high costs involved in current production systems for this clean fuel make its large-scale application difficult.

Energy costs are the main factor determining the levelised cost of green hydrogen. Increasing efficiency is, therefore, an essential lever to reduce your production costs.

For this reason, the European Union’s Research and Innovation framework program ’Horizon Europe’ (2021-2027), in line with the European Hydrogen Strategy to create a climate-neutral Europe, is committed to projects that promote the production of renewable hydrogen, reduce their costs, develop storage and distribution solutions, and stimulate their use as fuel, especially in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise.

This is the case of Seal-Hydrogen, funded entirely with 3 million euros of RIA Shares. Led by Gonzalo Abellán, researcher at the Institute of Molecular Science (ICMol) of the University of Valencia and co-founder of Matteco,
Seal-Hydrogen’s goal is to develop a sustainable, lower-cost, efficient and scalable electrolyser that combines the advantages of established conventional systems with cutting-edge innovations to make production more cost-competitive.

The proposed technology replaces the use of catalysts based on precious metals -platinum or iridiumwith others that do not require critical raw materials, such as nickel and iron, and allows higher current densities and greater efficiency, which makes the electrolyser production and reduces costs for green hydrogen producers. This is a new range of highly efficient catalysts that are easy to synthesise on a large scale using an innovative process patented by the University of Valencia and licensed to its spin-off Matteco.

"We seek to achieve higher current densities and efficiencies, introducing cutting-edge innovations in materials science, catalyst design and process engineering", explains Gonzalo Abellán, also responsible for the European project and coordinator of the consortium. "It is inspiring to carry out a tangible transfer of knowledge and technology, from the initial conception in the laboratory, through the field of experimentation and finally transforming it into a specific application for the green hydrogen industry. "We are proud to collaborate with leading organisations in this field, bringing together the best of industrial and academic talent", adds Abellán.

Aligned with the European Union’s ambitious goal of installing at least 40 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers by 2030, the SEAL-HYDROGEN project reduces energy consumption and increases the efficiency of electrolysis to transform the economics of large-scale production and facilitate the mass adoption of green hydrogen.