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FP6

HYDROSOL II — Result In Brief

Project ID: 20030
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Greece

Hydrogen plants to become more efficient

An initiative worked to upgrade solar power plants so they could produce hydrogen without carbon dioxide emissions. This can be an important step in helping Europe to meet its sustainability targets.
Hydrogen plants to become more efficient
Clean energy is rapidly becoming a necessity if the planet is to overcome global warming and become more sustainable. Scientists have conducted experiments on hydrogen power with mixed results, opening the door for more research into developing cleaner energy.

The EU-funded project 'Solar hydrogen via water splitting in advanced monolithic reactors for future solar power plants' (Hydrosol II) has built on a previous EU initiative to streamline solar hydrogen production. It worked on designing a more efficient energy-producing process without carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in order to support a sustainable hydrogen economy.

The project developed a two-step water-splitting process on specific reactors (monolithic honeycomb type) to achieve high water temperatures from solar irradiation. It improved upon existing technology using a dual reactor that produces 100 kWth per reactor to ensure continuous solar hydrogen production.

in more technical terms, the new solar reactor was fitted with refractory ceramic thin walls and features optimised to absorb solar radiation in order to achieve very high temperatures. The new modular twin chamber honeycomb absorber was successful in producing different heat and temperature levels to complete the chemical cycle and yield a continuous source of hydrogen.

the project team also isolated specific materials for water splitting and elaborated new coating techniques to handle over fifty cycles of hydrogen generation. Numerous testing sequences and assessments were undertaken to ensure that the technology developed is viable.

in all, Hydrosol II effectively developed solutions for ensuring renewable energy with zero emissions complying with environmental protocols. The challenge now lies in exploiting the technology and building a complete plant on a commercial scale for sustainable hydrogen generation. When this happens, Europe and the world will be on the way to a greener planet.

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