Photoelectrochemical (PEC) H2 generation, using water as proton and electron source, is considered the most impactful solar-driven processes to tackle the energy, environment, and climate crisis, providing a circular economy strategy to supply green energy vectors (H2) with zero carbon footprint.
Aligning with this view, OHPERA will develop a proof-of-concept unbiased tandem PEC cell to simultaneously achieve efficient solar-driven H2 production at the cathode and high added-value chemicals from valorisation of industrial waste (glycerol) at the anode, being sunlight the only energy input. Thus, OPHERA will demonstrate the viability of producing chemicals with economic benefits starting from industrial waste, using a renewable source of energy.
OPHERA will integrate highly efficient and stable photoelectrodes based on halide lead-free perovskite nanocrystals (PNCs) and tailored catalytic/passivation layers, avoiding the use of critical raw materials (CRM), in a proof-of-concept eco-design PEC device.
Theoretical modelling both at an atomistic and device scales will assist the materials development and mechanistic understanding of the processes, and all materials and components will be integrated in a proof-of-concept device, targeting standalone operation at 10 mA·cm-2 for 100 hours, 90% Faradaic efficiency to H2, and including a clearly defined roadmap for upscaling and exploitation.
OPHERA will offer a dual process to produce green H2 concomitant to the treatment of industrial waste generating added-value chemicals with high economic and industrial interest, thus offering a competitive levelized cost of green H2.
• Novel PEC system for unassisted H2 production and glycerol valorisation
• Stable Pb-free PNCs-based photoelectrodes.
• Integrated proof-of-concept at 10 cm2
• Target current density 10 mA cm-2 @ > 100 hours @unbiased
• Optimised sustainability footprint (Ecodesign)
• Upscaling roadmap to reach higher TRLs
• >100 people directly reached
WP1 - Development of photoactive materials and photoelectrodes
Led by UJI-INAM. Development of Pb-free halide perovskite nanocrystals with outstanding optoelectronic properties and their deposition on planar and nanostructured conductive substrates, to operate as efficient photoanodes and photocathodes for inner-sphere redox transformations.
WP4 - Proof-of-concept device development
Led by HZB. Development of an integrated tandem device for H2 evolution and glycerol oxidation based on the developed photoelectrodes from WP1 and WP2 with the theoretical inputs from the modelling of photoactive and photoelectrocatalytic materials (WP3).
WP7 – Management
Led by UJI-INAM. Management and coordination of the project, communication between project partners and the European Commission.
WP2 - Catalytic and passivation layers
Led by BGU. Design and development of a new class of low-cost and efficient electrocatalysts for H2 evolution reaction, oxygen evolution reaction, and glycerol oxidation. Functional characterization towards the desired reactions is addressed, together with fundamental understanding on the PEC behaviour of the films.
WP5 - Sustainability guidance and validation
Led by LOMARTOV. Application of a life cycle thinking approach at two different levels: (i) to guide OHPERA materials and processes selection out of the main environmental impacts, through a techno-economic feasibility and ensuring a responsible research & innovation (RRI); and (ii) to quantify its final sustainability footprint to validate the technological concept.
WP8 - Portfolio activities of the challenge
Led by UJI-INAM. Development of synergies and cooperation with the other projects funded under the Challenge “Novel routes to green hydrogen production” in call for proposals HORIZON-EIC-2021-PATHFINDERCHALLENGES-01-04 in order to build a shared roadmap of technologies competitiveness and key challenges to accelerate the development of their innovation potential.
WP3 - Modelling of photoactive and photoelectroca-talytic materials
Led by ICIQ. Analysis of the electronic structure and catalytic properties of the materials investigated in WP1 and WP2 and providing robust structure-property relationships to enhance their optimization.
WP6 - Communication, Dissemination and Exploitation
Led by eChemicles. Maximisation of the project impact and the sustainability of its results, ensuring the further upscaling of the project results for their marketability.
EIC Portfolio projects
The EIC – European Innovation Council is Europe’s flagship innovation programme to identify, develop and scale up breakthrough technologies and game changing innovations. Within the different supporting schemes of the EIC, and under the Horizon Europe umbrella programme, OHPERA has been financed under the EIC Pathfinder Challenge: Novel routes to green hydrogen production (HORIZON-EIC-2021-PATHFINDERCHALLENGES-01-04). Together with OHPERA, 8 other projects were selected to address this challenge:
- H2STEEL – Green H2 and circular bio-coal from biowaste for cost-competitive sustainable Steel (Project 101070741)
- PhotoSynH2 – Photosynthetic electron focusing technology for direct efficient biohydrogen production from solar energy (Project 101070948)
- ELOBIO – ELectrOlysis of BIOmass (Project 101070856)
- DualFlow – Dual circuit flow battery for hydrogen and value-added chemical production (Project 101070788)
- ANEMEL – ANion Exchange Membrane Electrolysis from Low-grade water sources (Project 101071111)
- MacGhyver – Microfluidic wAstewater treatment and Creation of Green HYdrogen Via Electrochemical Reactions (Project 101069981)
- EPOCH – Electrocatalytic Production of liquid Organic hydrogen carrier and CHemicals from lignin (Project 101070976)
- GH2 – GreenH2 production from water and bioalcohols by full solar spectrum in a flow reactor (Project 101070721)
These projects constitute the EIC hydrogen portfolio, which will share results, data and perspectives, to transition from innovation to competitive business opportunities.
GH2 and OHPERA are closely connected thanks to their use of solar spectrum for the hydrogen production.