Researchers from Repsol and Enagas have developed a cutting-edge technology for the production of green hydrogen from direct use of solar energy, through a process known as photoeletrocatalysis.
This project is a 100% Spanish R&D development, led by women, and carried out in collaboration with several of the most prestigious hydrogen research centers in the country.
The next step will be the construction of a demo plant in Repsol’s Puertollano industrial complex, with the aim of reaching commercial maturity before 2030.
Repsol Technology Lab researcher and one of the project leaders Ana Martínez said the breakthrough would allow the storage renewable energy on a large scale.
It can also be used it as fuel in different sectors, such as mobility, in the residential and industrial fields and, also, as a raw material in the industry.
Photoelectrocatalysis, which uses only water and solar energy to produce renewable hydrogen, is one of the technological pathways that Repsol is working on to decarbonize its hydrogen generation.
Co-leader of the project María Dolores Hernández said: "We are the leading producer and consumer of hydrogen in Spain, and this technology represents a complete reduction of emissions, compared to the conventional methods used to generate H2.
The boost that Repsol is giving to projects related to renewable hydrogen and, specifically, to this technology, will allow us to continue advancing in our commitment to being a multi-energy supplier and to sustainability, with the goal of becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050."
Research on the photoelectrocatalysis technology started at the Repsol Technology Lab in 2012 and, in 2018, Enagas joined the project in an agreement that makes both companies co-owners.
Enagas hydrogen co-ordinator Mónica Sánchez said: "It is a very disruptive technology.
"It is part of our commitment to renewable gases, particularly hydrogen and biomethane, as keys to achieving the carbon neutrality that we want to reach at a European level, and, specifically, as a company by 2040."