Hydrogen is the most promising energy carrier for solving the global energy challenge. It is the most abundant and lightest of the elements and it is a fuel with very high energy density and zero-emissions. The technological challenge to give hydrogen a key role in the short-term is as hard as challenging.
Spike Renewables carries out design and consultancy activities in the field of research and development of hydrogen production, storage and distribution technologies.
Through the support of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software with the addition of specific modules, Spike Renewables is able to expand the possibilities of designing, understanding and optimizing electrochemical and storage systems, such as fuel cells, electrolysers and tanks with ultra porous materials, by accurate simulations in the prototyping stage to improve efficiency in the operational phase.

Numerical simulation offers a significant benefit in terms of time and cost compared to standard laboratory experimentation as it is possible to accurately analyze the interactions between the various phenomena that occur in an electrochemical cell, including the mechanisms of reaction, fluid dynamics and heat exchange. In particular, modeling and simulation can be used to predict the distribution of current and potential, the distribution of chemical species and the distribution of temperature in an electrochemical cell, with the aim of designing and better managing its operation for a given set of technical specifications.
Among the various activities, a collaboration is underway with Nemesys, one of the most innovative start-up on Hydrogen technologies.

In June 20222 MAST3RBoost project started, it is an initiative for European vehicle decarbonization through improvements of hydrogen storage: MAST3RBoost “Maturing the Production Standards of Ultraporous Structures for High Density Hydrogen Storage Bank Operating on Swinging Temperatures and Low Compression”, is a European project which aims to provide a solid benchmark of cold-adsorbed H2 storage (CAH2) at low compression (100 bar or below) by maturation of a new generation of ultraporous materials (Activated carbons, ACs, and Metal Organic Frameworks, MOFs) for mobility applications, i.e., H2-powered vehicles, including road and railway, air-borne and water-borne transportation. The goal is to achieve a 30% increase of the working capacity of H2 at 100 bar (vs. MOF-5, one of the current record holders) reaching 10 wt.% and 44 gH2/lPS ([1]), by turning the lab-scale synthesis protocols into industrial-like manufacturing processes. Reaching these figures would bring significant advances on Hydrogen storage banks and, therefore, to Europe’s decarbonization.

The problem is that, at the moment, the state-of-the-art technology for Hydrogen storage on board based on compression at 700bar, has reached 25 gH2/lsys ([2]), a number which is still low considering that the market-entry goal is to fit 5 kg of H2 in a gasoline equivalent tank (80 kg/90 l). In fact, the complexities associated to an efficient H2 storage are causing a very slow penetration of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs). MAST3RBoost’s goal is to reach at least 40 gH2/Lsys, which is a significant milestone that would help to provide the market with an actual FCEV replacement to the current internal combustion engines, which are big contributors to the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.

[1] gH2/lPS: grams of hydrogen stored per litre of adsorbent material under “Pressure Swing” conditions (100 bar to 5 bar) [2] gH2/lsys: grams of hydrogen stored per litre of complete system including vessel and balance of plant under actual operation regime

O2 evolution in an alkaline electrolyser

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