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


The pilot plant will rely on disruptive technology developed by a team of researchers from the ITACA Institute at UPV and the Institute of Chemistry Technology (ITQ, CSIC-UPV). The technology allows for a more flexible and efficient process for generating hydrogen. The plant will be built at UPV’s Vera campus.

The Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and Sener have signed an agreement today to develop a pilot plant to generate green hydrogen that is based on disruptive technology developed by a team of researchers from UPV’s ITACA Institute and the Institute of Chemistry (ITQ, CSIC-UPV).

After almost ten years of collaborative research, the technology developed by this team from UPV and CSIC can be used to generate green hydrogen using microwaves. This revolutionary advance relies on the phenomenon of 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 series of patents, allows electrochemical processes to be carried out directly without the need for electrodes, which substantially simplifies and lowers the price of its practical application. This is achieved thanks to the freedom in the design of the device’s architecture and the choice of operating conditions, mainly temperature. These factors provide greater flexibility and efficiency during the hydrogen generation process. Its development had a major impact internationally, positioning the Polytechnic University of Valencia and CSIC as international leaders in this technology.

The agreement was signed this morning by the President of the Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, José E. Capilla; the Vice-President of Innovation and Transfer at CSIC, Ana Castro; and the Business Director at Sener, Juan Ivorra, and it will allow the development of a pilot plant to determine the commercial operating costs 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 ITQ, leaders of the research groups that developed the revolutionary technology for generating green hydrogen

“This achievement is a testament to UPV’s and CSIC’s commitment to innovation and cutting-edge scientific research. The technology developed to generate green hydrogen using microwaves has the potential to contribute directly to the decarbonization of the energy industry, and this development project with Sener marks a significant milestone on the road toward its commercial implementation,” noted UPV’s President, José E. Capilla, during the signing of the agreement.

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

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