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[Horizon-EIC-2021-Pathfinderchallenges-01-04] Hydrogen end-users, biomass suppliers or chemical industries to become part of the advisory board of a project

Country of Origin: Spain
Reference Number: RDES20211005001
Publication Date: 6 October 2021


An EU consortium, leaded by a Spanish university, is preparing a project proposal related to the electrolysis of renewable biomass, with less electrical energy demand compared with water electrolysis, and producing value-added decarbonized chemicals in addition to pure hydrogen. The project will set up an advisory board and they are looking for companies from the sector (end-user of hydrogen, biomass supplier or chemical industry) to advice on the development of the technology.


A Spanish university is leading a project proposal that aims at advancing biomass electrolysis as a novel technological mean of green H2 production. The project will demonstrate that electrocatalytic oxidation of biomass-derived molecules offers the possibility to simultaneously reduce the energy cost and improve the chemical value of H2 production compared to the current water splitting technology, which involves the sluggish and low-value oxygen evolution reaction at the anode. The project targets the development of low-temperature functional electrolysers capable of a large-scale production of H2 and value-added decarbonized chemicals, originating from the agricultural waste of cellulosic biomass renewable exploitation.

The project will design, build-up, test and improve a lab-scale prototype electrolysis cell at TRL4 (Technology Readiness Level) involving a selective electrocatalytic cathode for the hydrogen evolution reaction and an electrocatalytic anode capable of selectively oxidizing biomass-derived compounds.

Furthermore, several emerging technologies relying on electrolysis assisted with an additional renewable source of energy (light, ultrasound, magnetic field) or coupled with the concept of electrochemical promotion of catalysis will be explored to further enhance the energy efficiency of the green hydrogen electrolytic production, dealing to prepare the next generation of renewable biomass electrolysers for green H2 production.

The technological advancements achieved will scrupulously follow the EU recommendations on critical material avoidance, circularity and decarbonation objectives. Critical materials such as platinum group metals, cobalt, or polymeric membranes will be banned from consideration in the developed electrolysers. A precise and detailed social life cycle analysis is integral to the project framework, allowing to pinpoint and reduce the sources of negative social, environmental and economic impacts of the proposed technology and thus improve its sustainability.

The consortium is composed only of academic partners as the EU call (EIC Pathfinder Challenge: Novel route for Hydrogen) concerns the development of cutting-edge technologies at low TRL. The project proposal involves the set up of an advisory board with representative companies of the sector to advice the consortium on the development of the technology (economic data, technical inputs,…) throughout the duration of the project. They are looking for a company (an end-user of hydrogen, a biomass supplier, a chemical industry) for the advisory board. Its participation would imply: the signature of an NDA, one meeting per year, and access to the main results of the project.

Official deadline for the call: 27/10/2021
Deadline for expressions of interest: 25/10/2021
Anticipated duration of the project: 4 years

Stage Of Development

Project in negotiations - urgent

Requested partner

- Type: Industrial company.

- Specific area of activity of the partner:
End user of hydrogen, biomass supplier, chemical industry.

- Task to be performed:
Advisory tasks on the development of the consortium’s technology.

- EU / International project experience:
Previous experience in EU projects: not compulsory.

Cooperation offer is closed for requests