ANEMEL and ELOBIO team up to design nickel electrodes

ANEMEL and ELOBIO, both members of the European Innovation Council project portfolio, have secured supplementary funding from the Irish Research Council to develop more efficient electrodes based on abundant materials like nickel.

Tags: Catalysts, Collaboration, EIC, Electrodes, ELOBIO

ANEMEL and ELOBIO, both members of the “Green Hydrogen” project portfolio funded by the European Innovation Council (EIC), have partnered up to produce more efficient electrodes for electrochemical transformations. Together, the teams secured supplementary funding from the Irish Research Council. In particular, ANEMEL and ELOBIO received a Ulysses grant, designed to catalyse collaborations between institutions in Ireland and France by promoting the interchange of innovative ideas.

Thanks to the additional funds, the groups of Pau Farràs, the coordinator of ANEMEL, based in the University of Galway, Ireland, and Philippe Vernoux, the coordinator of ELOBIO, based in the University of Lyon, France, will organise joint meetings and promote staff exchanges between the two laboratories. During the next two years, ANEMEL and ELOBIO researchers will collaborate to create catalysts based on abundant elements, such as nickel, towards increasing the selectivity and efficiency of electrochemical oxidations. These reactions constitute the core concepts of both ANEMEL and ELOBIO projects. In the case of ANEMEL, water oxidation is still one of the bottlenecks in the generation of green hydrogen, whereas in ELOBIO the new nickel catalysts will speed up the transformation of biomass into green hydrogen, as well as other value-added chemicals.

Picture of Pau Farràs, coordinator of ANEMEL (center), and Philippe Vernoux, the coordinator of ELOBIO (right).
From left: Philipp Rose, ELOBIO researcher, Pau Farràs, coordinator of ANEMEL, and Philippe Vernoux, coordinator of ELOBIO during the 2nd “Green Hydrogen” Project Portfolio meeting in Tarragona, Spain.

“We’re really grateful to the EIC for coordinating the collaborations between projects in the ‘Green Hydrogen’ portfolio,” says Pau Farràs, coordinator of ANEMEL. “Thanks to the different meetings and discussions, we spotted the perfect opportunity for collaboration with our colleagues in ELOBIO and decided to apply to the Irish Research Council Ulysses grant together,” he adds. “We’re even more thrilled that the application was successful, and we will get to collaborate beyond the EIC project portfolio, which will ensure long-term collaborations between the two teams.”

“Although ANEMEL and ELOBIO have different goals, the EIC ‘Green Hydrogen’ project portfolio helped us identify some common challenges,” explains Philippe Vernoux, coordinator of ELOBIO. “In particular, we realised that nickel catalysts could convey better efficiency and selectivity to oxidation reactions, key in the chemical transformations studied in both projects,” he adds. “Now, we look forward to working together within the framework of this Ulysses grant, which will foster the exchange of staff and ideas between our laboratories, and surely spark new collaborations in future.”

Additionally, ANEMEL and ELOBIO researchers recently met at the European Hydrogen Energy Conference (EHEC) in Bilbao, where they presented the latest results of both projects to a wide community of researchers, industry leaders, policymakers and green hydrogen experts – alongside EIC portfolio project OHPERA. This in-person gathering was also a great opportunity for the two teams to catch up and discuss the progress of the collaboration. “Collaboration across disciplines is crucial for the advancement of science,” says Farràs. “We’re already looking forward to the next EIC ‘Green Hydrogen’ project portfolio meeting, organised by ELOBIO, which will take place in Lyon this summer,” he adds.