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Published: 18 Jun, 2020 Updated: 26 Jun, 2020, 07:14

50 million to hydrogen research for sustainable energy production

NEWS The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, SSF, supports a hydrogen research centre led by KTH and including researchers from Umeå University. The centre is one of four centres that receive grants in the call for Agenda 2030 Research Centres, a call aimed at finding solutions to the UN agenda 2030 goals. Each centre receives 50 million SEK.

Text: Ingrid Söderbergh

Hydrogen is a very important fossil-free energy carrier and also a significant industrial process gas for the future. Hydrogen produced by electrolysis with green energy from, for example, solar or wind means a zero emission of carbon dioxide since the only residual product is water.

The centre "Production, use and storage of hydrogen, PUSH" encompasses the entire value chain in a hydrogen-based energy system – production through electrolysis, storage and distribution and end-use in the form of electricity from fuel cells. The five-year project that the centre will work on specifically addresses Agenda 2030 Goal # 13: Fighting climate change.

One of the goals is to develop polymer membranes for electrolysis based on new classes of alkaline membranes, among other things, to respond to rapid load changes that are an important feature when renewable energy is to be used to drive the electrolysis. Another is to develop liquid organic hydrogen carriers as a complement to pressurized hydrogen gas and to develop fuel cells with acidic membrane electrolyte to function at higher temperatures.

“It is an extremely exciting project that gives us the opportunity to work for a longer period of time with hydrogen research. It also opens up a series of new collaborations and knowledge transfer between Swedish research groups, institutes and industrial partners”, says Thomas Wågberg, professor at the Department of Physics at Umeå University.

The centre, which is led by KTH, comprises seven research groups at four Swedish universities (Chalmers, KTH, Lund University, and Umeå University) as well as one research group at RISE. The project, which has strong industrial links, will include eight doctoral students and three postdoctoral students.

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