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Helmholtz-Zentrum hereon

Main activities on fuel cells, electrolysers and hydrogen

Main competences and lines of research

  • Photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation
  • Hydrogen storage and compression with metal hydrides
  • Hydrogen separation and cleaning from mixed gas streams by polymeric membrane technology

Relevant national/European projects ongoing or concluded


  • EU Horizon 2020 OITB Projekt „INNOMEN - Open INNOvation Test Bed for nano-enabled MEMbranes“ (2020 - 2024)
  • EU Horizon 2020 IA Projekt „MACBETH – Membranes and Catalysis Beyond Economical and Technological Hurdles“ (2019 - 2023)
  • FCH JU Collaborative Project HyCARE - Hydrogen CArrier for Renewable Energy Storage (2019 - 2021) Coordinator: Universtiy of Turin, Partners: ENGIE (FR), GKN Sinter Metals Engineering GmbH (D), Tecnodelta srl (I), Stühff GmbH (D), Fondazione Bruno Kessler (I), HZG (D), CNRS (FR), IFE (NO)
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie RISE Project Hydride4Mobility - Hydrogen Fuelled Utility Vehicles and Their Support Systems Utilising Metal Hydrides (2017 - 2021) Coordinator: IFE (NO), Partners: HZG (D), HystorSys SA (NO), University of Split FESB (Croatia), University of the Western Cape (SA), TF Design (PTY) Ltd. (SA), Impala Platinum Ltd. (SA), Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (Indonesia)
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie RISE Projekt CO2MPRISE - CO2 absorbing Materials Project - RISE Coordinator: Universita degli Studi di Sassari (IT), Partners: HZG (D), Universidad de Burgos (ES), Monolithos Katalites Ke Anakiklosi Etaireia Periorismenis Evthinis EPE (EH), Vlachos Nikolaos (Alter Eco) (CY), Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica (AG), Universidad de Chile (Chile)
  • EU FP7-People-2013-ITN Project - ECOSTORE (2013-2017): “Novel Complex Metal Hydrides for Efficient and Compact Storage of Renewable Energy as Hydrogen and Electricity”
  • EU FCH-JU Project – BOR4STORE (2012-2015): “Advanced borohydrides based high capacity solid state hydrogen storage materials”
  • EU FP7 Projekt „HARCANA - High Aspect Ratio Carbon-based Nanocomposites“ (2008-2012, 10 partners)
  • EU FP7 Projekt „SELFMEM - Self-Assembled Polymer Membranes“ (2009-2012, 12 partners)
  • EU FP7 Project - FlyHy (2009 – 2011): ”Fluorine Substituted High Capacity Hydrides for Hydrogen Storage at low Working Temperatures”,
  • EU Marie Curie Research Training Network – COSY (2006- 2010): ”Complex Solid State Reactions for Energy Efficient Hydrogen Storage”
  • EU COST Action MP1103 (2011-2015): “Nanostructured materials for solid-state hydrogen storage”
  • ERA-NET CONCERT-Japan – iTHEUS (2013-2015): “Fundamental investigations on improved materials and storage concepts for a hydrogen based integrated total energy utilisation system.”
  • EU FP6 Integrated Project – NESSHY (2006 – 2010, 40 Partner): ”Novel Efficient Solid Storage for H2”
  • EU FP5 Integrated Project – StorHy (2004-2008): “Hydrogen Storage Systems for Automotive Application”
  • EU FP5 Integriertes Projekt "CERHYSEP - Ceramic membranes for hydrogen separation" (2002-2006)
  • EU FP5 Network – FCTESTNET (2002-2005): “Fuel Cell Testing & Standardisation"


  • Focus H2 – Young Researchers Group on Novel processes for structuring of electrodes for photoelectrochemical hydrogen generation (2014 – 2020)
  • BMWi Project H2HybridTank - Demonstration of a cost efficient hybrid pressurised gas - solid state hydrogen functional model store for future for use in light duty vehicles (2018 - 2021) Partners Volkswagen AG Konzernforschung, PANCO GmbH, Stühff GmbH
  • Helmholtz-Initiative FuncHy (2005 – 2010): “Funktional Materials for mobile Hydrogen Stores
  • BMBF Project HyScore - Efficient H2 Storage by novel hierarchical porous Core-Shell-Structures with embedded Light Metal Hydrides (2016 - 2019)
  • r3 – Innovative Technologien für Resourceneffizienz – Strategische Metalle und Materialien – “ATR- Trennung Aufschluss Rückgewinnung von ressourcen-relevanten Metallen aus Rückständen thermischer Prozesse mit innovativen Verfahren” (2012-2014).
  • BMBF Projekt „MMMfGS - Mixed Matrix Membranen für die Gasseparation“ (2011 – 2014)
  • National Innovation Programm Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology – „Development, Upscaling and Testing of Nanocomposite Materials for Hydrogen Storage“(2009-2012).
  • BMWi Projekt „MemKoR – Membranverfahren für die Abtrennung von Kohlendioxid aus Kraftwerksrauchgasen“ (2016 – 2019)
  • BMWi-Projekt „METPORE II - Nano-structured Ceramic and Metal Supported Membranes for Gas Separation“ (2011 – 2014)
  • BMWi-Projekt „Aufbereitung von Grubengas mit niedrigen Methan-gehalten zur Nutzung in Hochtemperaturbrennstoffzellen“ (2005 – 2009)
  • BMWA-Innonet Project Mini-Ely (2003-2006): “Miniatur –Elektrolyseur zur Befüllung von Metallhydridspeichern als Ladestation für portable Brennstoffzellen” Drittmittel: 160 T€
  • Helmholtz-Chinese Academy of Science Joint Research Group (2014-2016): “Study on the synthesis, structures, and performances of complex hydride systems for reversible hydrogen storage”

Research infrastructures

  • Hydrogen Technology Centre








  • High Energy Ball Milling Facility








  • High energy milling equipment up to 100 l milling vial volume






  • In operando XRD cell with temperatures up to 500°C, 400 bar for materials analysis in the synchrotron beam






  • In operando Neutron radiography of hydrogen distribution in metal hydrides









  • Hydrogen tank testing facilities up to 500 bar, 6000 Nl/min flow






  • Membrane synthesis and casting machinery







  • Membrane coating machine







  • Gas permeation testing and more facilities for membrane characterisation