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Obtaining electricity from waste aluminium

H2ALRECYCLING is an all-Valencian project to design and build a pilot plant for the transformation of industrial waste into hydrogen fuel cells

Funded under LIFE, the European Union’s only financial instrument dedicated to the promotion of innovative technologies that support the environment, nature conservation and climate action, H2ALRECYCLING was a four-year project to design and build a pilot plant to test a new method for obtaining hydrogen for use in fuel cells. Specifically, researchers engineered a reaction between the aluminium and ammonium hydroxide obtained as a by-product of other industrial processes. The main objective of the project was to obtain hydrogen via a process based on the reaction between aluminium and water. The hydrogen produced can be used to power fuel cells, which generate energy for use for various purposes. The project has proven the viability of hydrogen as a profitable and clean alternative energy source, which could mark a turning point in the energy model and bring society closer to a more sustainable solution. The project consortium was made up of three Valencia-based entities: the Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía (ITE), an international research centre supported by the Valencian regional government and the Polytechnic University of Valencia; JAP Energéticas Medioambientales S.L. a research institute among whose main lines of study we find the use of hydrogen for power generation; and INDETEC, the research arm of Grupo Vento, an engineering company for technological development. A pilot plant was constructed near the Valencian town of Pedralba for the study and optimisation of the different variables involved in the process. This project represented a technological challenge for the consortium, but beyond this it is a future opportunity around which many national and international technologies will structure their R&D efforts. Today, hydrogen fuel cells are already in use in the defence sector, telecommunictions and space, but bit by bit, thanks to projects like H2ALRECYCLING, advanced technologies like this are being brought ever closer to society. Obtaining hydrogen for electricity generation cleanly and without releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere will soon be a reality. Source: Instituto Tecnológico de la Energía





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