HERA

The HERA project has an ambition to bring knowledge on the “solar hydrogen” production & storage closer to the users and, via technological optimization, translate it to a product. This goal will be achieved by integrating lab-scale studies with system-oriented experimental examinations, yet unapplied to the compounds/composites proposed in HERA. The current systems for the “solar hydrogen” production consume excessive amount of energy, to overcome the oxygen kinetic-related overpotential, and cannot provide enough power in an economically feasible way. Also, they do not include the storage option for the produced hydrogen. Therefore, the main HERA’s goal is to construct a kinetically enhanced PEC device that will provide the absorption of the produced H2 in the cathode material. The proposed setup will also allow for the on demand release of the absorbed gas. The photooxidation reaction will be the driving force of the planned architecture. It will involve other than water oxidation processes that are expected to provide enough electrons for the water reduction, hydrogen formation and its subsequent absorption by the cathode. The latter will be realized by application of metal hydrides as a hydrogen storage medium. In HERA, we will focus on the investigation of A2B7- and AB-type alloys, in view of their versatility for the PEC hydrogen production and storage. The research will to go far beyond single case examples and cover systematic investigations of multi-substituted compositions, underlying the relationship between the fundamental material properties and functionalities in the studied photoelectrochemical architectures. We expect that HERA achievements will contibute to breakthroughs in the field of design and applications of the environment-friendly and economically viable renewable energy-based technologies.