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EPOCH proposes to develop a novel approach in linking green hydrogen production with the direct loading of liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) enabling a transformative logistic of green hydrogen distribution and storage. Lignin derivatives are used to be selectively oxidized. Compared to water electrolysis, EPOCH will advance the field by (1) using the nascent hydrogen at the cathode directly to load LOHCs allowing economic H2 storage and transport, and (2) converting at the anode waste lignin and its derivatives via selective oxidation.

EPOCH is beyond the state-of-the-art solutions, as it does not form molecular H2 at the cathode nor generates oxygen at the anode. By modifying both cathodic and anodic reactions, EPOCH reduces the energy intensity. 

EPOCH will enable better cell performance and enhanced added-value device operations by (i) improving energy efficiency, (ii) allowing cost reductions, and (iii) intensifying the process. The EPOCH device will be designed for flexible integration with biorefineries and pulp & paper industries, to valorize their lignin waste streams, thus, linking these industrial sectors and the H2 economy. 

EPOCH will allow the production of green H2 in areas where renewable energy production (in the energy mix) is higher. Therefore, EPOCH will offer a new path to effectively decrease the carbon footprint of energy-intensive industries. Development of the novel EPOCH electrocatalytic device requires (a) advanced components (electrocatalysts, electrodes, electrolytes and ionic liquid promoters, membranes) and (b) validation of the full module cell operation at laboratory scale. Thus, our project integrates multidisciplinary top-experts in areas such as electrocatalysis, lignin chemistry, and materials synthesis, with a large engineering company on energy transition and a SME world-leading the LOHC technology development and logistic. 

Project route

About EIC Portfolio Project

The “Green Hydrogen portfolio” gathers 9 projects funded through the EIC Pathfinder challenge called “Novel Routes to Green Hydrogen Production”, launched in 2021. The portfolio projects share common topics and objectives, in this case, the efficient generation of green hydrogen, and extend for a period of up to 60 months until September 2027. The total funding from the EIC for these projects is almost €29 million.

Together with EPOCH, 8 other projects were selected to address this challenge:

ANEMEL – ANion Exchange Membrane Electrolysis from Low-grade water sources (Project 101071111)

DualFlow – Dual circuit flow battery for hydrogen and value-added chemical production (Project 101070788)

ELOBIO – ELectrOlysis of BIOmass (Project 101070856)

GH2 – GreenH2 production from water and bioalcohols by full solar spectrum in a flow reactor (Project 101070721)

H2STEEL – Green H2 and circular bio-coal from biowaste for cost-competitive sustainable Steel (Project 101070741)

MacGhyver – Microfluidic wastewater treatment and Creation of Green HYdrogen Via Electrochemical Reactions (Project 101069981)

PhotoSynH2 – Photosynthetic electron focusing technology for direct efficient biohydrogen production from solar energy (Project 101070948)

OHPERA – Optimised Halide Perovskite nanocrystalline based Electrolyser for clean, robust, efficient and decentralised pRoduction of H2 (Project 101071010)