Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (ITACA)

Revolutionary breakthrough

UPV, CSIC and Sener sign an agreement to develop a pilot plant to generate green hydrogen using microwaves

The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and the engineering and technology group Sener have signed an agreement today to develop a pilot plant for the generation of green hydrogen, based on a disruptive technology developed by a team of researchers from the UPV’s ITACA Institute and the Institute of Chemical Technology (ITQ, CSIC-UPV).

After almost ten years of collaborative research, the technology developed by this UPV and CSIC team makes it possible to generate green hydrogen using microwaves. This revolutionary breakthrough is based on the microwave reduction of solid materials at unusually low temperatures compared to other technologies and was published in 2020 in the journal Nature Energy.

The technology, protected internationally through a family of patents, allows electrochemical processes to be carried out directly without the need for electrodes, making its practical application substantially simpler and cheaper. This is achieved through freedom in the device architecture design and in the choice of operating conditions, mainly temperature. These factors allow for greater flexibility and efficiency in the hydrogen generation process. Its development greatly impacted the international level, positioning the Universitat Politècnica de València and the CSIC as global leaders in this technology.

The agreement signed this morning by the rector of the Universitat Politècnica de València, José E. Capilla; the vice-president of innovation and transfer of the CSIC, Ana Castro; and the business director of Energy of Sener, Juan Ivorra, will allow the development of a pilot plant to determine the costs of commercial exploitation of this technology, with a view to its possible industrial implementation.

The event was also attended by researchers Jose M. Catalá and Felipe Peñaranda, from UPV’s ITACA Institute, and José M. Serra, from the ITQ, leaders of the research groups that developed the revolutionary green hydrogen generation technology.

“This achievement is a testament to the commitment of the UPV and the CSIC to innovation and cutting-edge scientific research. The technology developed for green hydrogen generation using microwaves has the potential to contribute directly to the decarbonisation of the energy industry, and this development project with Sener marks an important milestone on the road to its commercial implementation,” said UPV Rector José E. Capilla during the signing of the agreement.

Nora Castañeda, Sener’s Hydrogen Business Manager, added: “We are enthusiastically entering this innovation project with a novel technology advanced by the UPV and the CSIC, where we will contribute our technical knowledge and experience in developing solutions for generating renewable hydrogen. For Sener, it is essential to work on R&D and developing scalable and industrialisable technology, which allows a massive, reliable and optimised deployment of hydrogen as an energy vector”.

About Sener

Sener is a private engineering and technology group founded in 1956. It seeks to offer its customers the most advanced technological solutions and enjoys international recognition thanks to its independence and commitment to innovation and quality. Sener employs more than 3,000 professionals on five continents. Sener is active in the Aerospace, Energy, Mobility, Digital and Naval sectors, as well as promoting, through industrial participation, companies in the renewable energy sector.

Source: UPV’s Communication Area

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