The Electrochemical Conversion of Renewable Electricity into Fuels and Chemicals (ELCOREL) project has received funding under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme.
The funding is intended for the joint doctoral programme networks of universities, research centres and operators in the private sector.
Professor Tanja Kallio is in charge of the work carried out by Aalto University, Finland, and the university’s share of the funding is around €500,000.
Kallio said: “The great aim of the project is to slow down climate change.
“The problem with seasonal renewable energies such as wind and solar energy is how they can be stored during peak production for usage at times when there is less production. We will be developing electrocatalysts and technologies that enable the storage of produced electrical energy as chemical bond energy.”
The project is co-ordinated by Heyrovsky Institute of Physical Chemistry, Czech Republic. In addition to Aalto University, the participants include Leiden University, the Netherlands; the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ), Spain; and the companies Avantum and DeNora.
Aalto University is to be in charge of the syntheses, electrochemical characterisation, and the scaling and integration of technology.
Kallio concluded: “We want to develop materials that do not require critical raw materials like platinum, which is expensive and challenging to acquire.
“In practice, we aim to develop methods in which we use electrical energy to produce hydrogen that is suitable for use as a fuel from water, or carbon-based compounds from carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide.”