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Cost-effective materials for “power-to-chemical” technologies


Proposals should focus on the development of advanced materials, materials solutions or new chemistries, to up-scale the chemical storage of energy in chemicals or hydrogen to economically viable levels. The proposals should select one or more of the following subjects:

  • The development of low cost advanced materials for solid state storage of hydrogen at low pressure, targeting at the same time improved storage density and cycling durability;
  • The development of direct synthesis of chemicals from CO2-H2O co-electrolysis using materials and reactors made of sustainable, non-toxic and non-critical raw materials2;
  • The development of efficient low cost photochemical water splitting reactors with optimized flow behaviour, as well as new catalysts with longer lifetimes;
  • The optimization of low-cost electro-chemistries to separate and purify hydrocarbon streams.

The technical validation in an industrially relevant environment and economic viability of the proposed solutions should be addressed in the proposal.

This topic calls for proposals with focus on cost effective materials solutions for "power-to-chemical" technologies. A complementary topic with focus on using solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOEC) to convert renewable electricity into hydrogen and, via hydrogen, into other products is included in the 2015 Work Plan of the FCH Joint Undertaking (JU).

The implementation of this topic is intended to start at TRL 3 and target TRL 5.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Energy storage will play a key role in enabling the EU to develop a low-carbon electricity system. Energy storage can supply more flexibility and balancing to the grid, providing a back up to intermittent renewable energy. Chemical energy storage is the transformation of electrical energy into chemical energy carriers. It consequently involves exchange of energy between different vectors of the energy system. Once the energy is transformed to chemicals the concept opens for many ways to use the primary electric energy, e.g. for re-electrification, heating and mobility. For such chemical energy storage, hydrogen or chemicals are considered. In particular the production of chemicals (e.g. methanol, ethanol, methane and syngas amongst others) by co-electrolysis is very promising technology in which R&I efforts should result in a substantial increase of the efficiency of the processes.

The performance levels of the proposed materials solution(s) should be in line with those specified in relevant parts of the SET-Plan Integrated Roadmap and its Annexes, available at

  • Significant increase of the durability under current and temperature cycling of co-electrolysis technology based on sustainable, non-toxic and non-critical raw materials;
  • Alleviation of geographical constraints for low carbon energy production with increased efficiencies at a reduced cost;
  • Reduction of the barriers to increase the penetration rate of distributed and/or intermittent renewable energy sources.

Proposals should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the Introduction to the LEIT part of this Work Programme.