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Joint lab in France to streamline industrial-scale green hydrogen production

Hydrogen plays a vital role in effectively driving the shift toward a low-carbon society across all economic sectors. PEM (proton exchange membrane) electrolysis stands as a pathway for large-scale hydrogen production, ensuring a significantly reduced carbon impact.

With the creation of a joint laboratory, Elogen, Université Paris-Saclay and CNRS aim to improve current PEM electrolysis processes and explore the use of the different materials available in quantity to accelerate large-scale green hydrogen production.

The joint laboratory will be located at the Orsay Institute of Molecular Chemistry and Materials (ICMMO – CNRS/Université Paris-Saclay), one of France’s leading research laboratories in chemistry, with a focus on organic and inorganic chemistry as well as molecular and materials sciences. It will bring together the scientific expertise of ICMMO’s team for Research and Innovation in Electrochemistry for Energy (ERIEE – Equipe de recherche et d’innovation en électrochimie pour l’énergie) in PEM water electrolysis, hydrogen storage and purification, and that of the Elogen teams, with more than 25 years of expertise in the design, manufacturing and marketing of electrolysers.

This new laboratory follows on from the collaboration agreement signed in December 2021 between Elogen and Université Paris-Saclay to strengthen ties forged over more than 20 years, and is part of a wider context of actions undertaken around energy as a societal challenge. These include initiatives within the Institute for Sustainable Energy (IES), supported by Université Paris-Saclay and in which CNRS is a stakeholder, but also within the Campus des Métiers et des Qualifications (CMQ) “Energie Durable (EDu)” or via the Compétences et Métiers d’Avenir (CMA) Hydrogène et technologies avancées des systèmes énergétiques (HTase) project, which are coordinated by Université Paris-Saclay and in which CNRS and Elogen are partners.

The creation of the joint laboratory will also contribute to the training of young researchers, including two CIFRE (Industrial Convention for Training through Research) doctoral students, recruited in this framework.

Jean-Baptiste Choimet, Managing Director of Elogen, commented that “true to our passion for technology, we are proud to collaborate with Université Paris-Saclay and CNRS to build this joint research laboratory. With R&D and innovation forming part of Elogen’s historical DNA, it is only natural for us to recommit ourselves to R&D and the training of the next generation of researchers.”

Estelle Iacona, President of Université Paris-Saclay, explained that “driven by the conviction that as a university it is our responsibility to support technological breakthroughs to succeed in the energy transition, we are delighted with the creation of this joint research laboratory with Elogen and CNRS. It will combine academic and technological expertise of the highest level, whilst contributing to the training of students and young researchers.”

For his part, Jean-Luc Moullet, Deputy Director General for Innovation at CNRS, said that “CNRS is delighted with this joint laboratory agreement signed with Elogen. The production of green hydrogen is one of the answers to the energy challenge, which is one of the major challenges facing our society, and therefore naturally one of the major societal challenges on which CNRS is focusing. We are also pleased with the creation of this new joint laboratory, which is part of a strong dynamic promoted by our organization in favour of closer ties between the business world and the academic world.”


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