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HELENIC-REF Report Summary

Project ID: 665318
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.2.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HELENIC-REF (Hybrid Electric Energy Integrated Cluster concerning Renewable Fuels)

Reporting period: 2015-06-01 to 2016-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The global population is predicted to increase from ~7.3 billion to over 9 billion people by 2050. Together with rising economic growth, this is forecast to result in a 50% increase in fuel demand, which will have to be met while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 50–80% to maintain social, political, energy and climate security. This tension between rising fuel demand and the requirement for rapid global decarbonization highlights the need to fast-track the coordinated development and deployment of efficient cost-effective renewable technologies for the production of CO2 neutral energy. Currently, only 20% of global energy is provided as electricity, while 80% is provided as fuel.

There are individual efforts, advancing the level of our knowledge in physics and chemistry, permitting the ambitious motivation of developing a methodology for producing “renewable fuels”, by means of using precursors existing in large amounts in the planet. Hence, the targeted breakthroughs and simultaneously the overall objectives of the HELENIC-REF project refer to:

• The establishment of a new sustainable methodology for the thermolysis of water in relatively low temperatures (below 300oC) and the corresponding immediate production of thermal and/or electric energy using the produced hydrogen and oxygen
• The use of the same methodology for sustainable thermolysis of water as above mentioned, in the presence of CO2 in order to reduce CO2 to CO (SYNGAS production) or even to hydrocarbons, (like Synthetic Natural Gas – SNG) via methanation process, maintaining the same reduction procedure
• The simulation of the obtained methodologies for water thermolysis, as well as CO2 transformation to SNG and hydrocarbons by Finite Element Analysis and other software techniques, aided and validated by the achieved experimental results, leading to a new technical method & approach

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The general conclusions of the work done up to this moment is that we have already realized the following objectives:

• The initiation of a flame spray pyrolysis method to provide the required amount of magnetite powders of given dimensions, as well as the initiation of a microwave method in combination or not with the flame spray pyrolysis, for the development of a completely new advance powder metallurgy process, which will allow for a faster, better and cheaper way of powder manufacturing
• The initiation of a theory and a device for a new water reduction mechanism by using Lorentz force electrons on the surface and on the bulk of magnetite porous pellets, which have been magnetically pre-ordered with the additional provision of external magnetic field provided by either permanent magnet or electromagnet closed circuit, allowing for the hydrolysis of the transferred vapour water on top or inside the porous magnetite pellet due to the presence of excess (Lorentz) electrons on it
• The initiation of a theory and a device to develop magnetite thin films on top of a thin or thick film metal support, separated or not separated by an insulating thin film, to provide a new Lorentz electron reduction process method based on the high magnetic field in the magnetite thin film caused by relatively low current transmitted through the metal support and the small distance between the metal support and the magnetite film: passing current (preferably pulsed current) through both the metal film and the magnetite film, results in the generation of Lorentz forces and therefore Lorentz electrons in the magnetite in directions dependent on the orientation of the transmitted currents, allowing for the hydrolysis of the transferred vapour water on top of the magnetite film
• The initiation of the design and development of consequent devices for the quantitative study of these two catalysts and water thermolysis and fuel production with proper mass flow systems, sensing instrumentation and gas release observation (GC-MS), as well as the initiation of the design of stationary (large scale) and mobile (miniature-like devices) applications of hydrogen production concerning electric energy or hybrid energy production, where the film catalyst can be in planar or cylindrical form
• The initiation of multi-scale modelling including the ab-initio calculation of atomic level properties, like the IR response of magnetite clusters, passing to mesoscopic behaviour of magnetite catalysts using periodic function dynamics and reaching to macroscopic observations of catalyst operation in real conditions
• The initiation of the preparation of international patents for the two above mentioned methods and devices for hydrogen production, as well as for the powder manufacturing process, followed by publications in well-respected international peer review Journals for the scientific explanation of the obtained results, as well as by a business plan related to the actual implementation of the new method in energy applications

All these together may allow for a concrete study of the found results during the next two years of the HELENIC-REF project, in terms of:

• Further development of the flame spray pyrolysis and the microwave powder metallurgy process for the proper preparation of catalysts
• Further study on the optimization of the two types of catalysts by the automated systems developed up to this moment, as well as the design and development of corresponding stationary (large scale) and mobile (miniature-like) reactors for hydrogen and fuel production
• Performing multi-scale modelling in order to observe the atomic level, the mesoscopic level and the macroscopic level of the reduction process in the magnetite pellets and films

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The Progress beyond the state of the art can be summarized as follows:

• The initiation of a theory and a device corresponding to a new water reduction mechanism by using Lorentz force electrons in the bulk of porous magnetite pellets, which have been magnetically pre-ordered for the hydrogen production
• The initiation of a theory and a device to develop magnetite thin films on top of metal thin or thick films, separated or not by insulating films, to provide Lorentz force electrons due to the large magnetic field caused by relatively low current passing through the metal supports to finally achieve for water thermolysis
• The initiation of the design of new devices, both stationary (large scale) and mobile (miniature-like) for hydrogen production, followed by patent preparation and filing, publications in high level peer-review Journals, as well as market and business plan concerning the realization of all these findings in real energy applications

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