The improvement of efficient, sustainable and flexible energy systems is a crucial challenge for Europe’s decarbonisation and a foundation for 2050 Europe’s climate-neutrality goal set in the European Green Deal. Hydrogen (H2) is a key priority in achieving this goal and performing Europe’s clean energy transition.

Hydrogen represents a modest fraction of Europe’s actual energy consumption and is mostly produced from fossil fuels, resulting in significant amounts of CO2 emissions.

Green H2 can be generated via electrolysis using renewable electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The state-of-the-art technology for green H2 production is based on water electrolysis, with costs still higher than grey H2 and production processes affected by the use of critical raw materials.

Key Project

“GreenH2 production from water and bioalcohols by using the full solar spectrum in a flow reactor” (GH2) is a 36-month HORIZON EIC Pathfinder project funded by the European Innovation Council.

Water splitting for H2 production driven by solar energy is quite attractive although its current efficiency is very moderate due to both the extremely sluggish water oxidation half reaction and limited light harvesting (mostly UV-visible light). The ultimate goal of the GH2 project is to produce the H2 with a quantum efficiency of >60% using bioethanol and water as feedstocks, and the reaction is purely driven by solar energy in well-integrated photocatalytic and Infrared driven reactors, together with the separation of products using an advanced membrane separation unit.

The GH2 consortium is an ambitious, multidisciplinary group of experienced partners including 6 research institutes (Max-Planck, University of Naples, University of Hong Kong, ETH Zurich, and University College London), 2 SMEs and 1 technology organization (LEITAT) from 4 EU countries (Germany, Spain, Ireland and Italy), Switzerland, the UK, and 1 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of PRC (HKSAR), together with collaborations with Caltech in USA and Kyoto University in Japan.

Hydrogen Helix

Hydrogen helix is an international Open Innovation community of specialists in the area of H2, in particular Green H2 and related disciplines. The Helix was launched as a driver focus for impact, exploitation and dissemination services in support of the GH2 project's ambition to develop an innovative green H2 production process, strongly contributing to a low-carbon society.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the granting authority. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. This project has received funding from European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency HORIZON EIC Grants under grant agreement No 101070721.

Funded by
the European Union