Solar thermochemical production of hydrogen based on cork Ecoceramics
funding type Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
programme FCT/PTDC/2014
alternative reference PTDC/CTM-ENE/6762/2014
research group(s) 5 - biomedical and biomimetic materials;
4 - biorefineries, biobased materials and recycling;
department Materials and Ceramic Engineering (DEMaC)
execution dates 2016-05-01 - 2019-04-30 ( 36 Months )
project extension date 2019-10-31 ( 6 Extra months )
Goal: H2CORK will develop novel CeO2-based Ecoceramics, exploiting the regular, highly porous microstructure of sustainable cork templates, for the innovative renewable production of hydrogen via direct solar thermochemical fuel production (TCFP).

Sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, such as H2, are urgently needed, and must be produced using renewable energy to be truly sustainable. Concentrated solar energy (a focused beam of sunlight) can be used to produce electricity, split water or create synthetic fuels without CO2 emissions. H2 production via direct solar TCFP should be more efficient than electrolysis using solar electricity, and so is an innovative solution to H2 production. What is required is a suitable material for a TCFP catalyst.

It is known that CeO2-based materials can be used to split water and produce H2 for TCFP, via a redox cycle that requires heating up to 1400 ºC. What is required is further development and optimisation of such materials to improve efficiency and redox reaction rates, and to enhance their microstructure/surface area. Any materials solutions should also be based on renewable/sustainable resources and methods.

This will be achieved by developing innovative CeO2-based catalysts with enhanced regular 3DOM microstructures using naturally occurring cork templates to create Ecoceramics (Environmentally conscious ceramics). These will be a novel form of biomimetic material using a cork template, to make a ceramic with the unique, highly porous cellular microstructure of cork.Cork is a totally sustainable Portuguese resource, the bark being harvested without damaging the tree, which lives on to sequester CO2 for centuries.

Methods: Solar Energy Materials, Solar Energy, Biomimetics, Biomimetic Materials, Concentrated Solar Power, Water Splitting, Hydrogen Production, Sustainable Energy, Materials for Sustainable Energy, cork, ceria, biomimetic ceramics, sustainable materials, thermochemical fuels production, ecoceramics, CeO2, hydrogen production
/local pi
Rob Pullar
ciceco status Coordinator
proponent institution Universidade de Aveiro (UA)
partner institution(s) LNEG
industrial partner(s) no
international partner(s) no
total budget 199.228€
ciceco budget 119.400€
project code 3.50.196