Prof Andreas Zuttel Keynote (LMER, ISIC, SB, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)


Hudson Beare Building, LT2


Monday, August 20, 2018 - 13:00 to 14:00

Storage of Renewable Energy by Hydrogen and Reduction of CO2

Andreas ZÜTTEL1,2 and Heena YANG1,2

1) LMER, ISIC, SB, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Valais/Wallis, Energypolis, Rue de l’Industrie 17, CP 440, CH-1951 Sion, Switzerland

2) Empa Materials Science & Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland

The installed peak power of renewable energy converters i.e. photovoltaic panels and wind turbines is increasing exponentially, thanks to the efforts in China to produce large amounts of photovoltaic panels for a very competitive cost and to install more than the whole rest of the world together in 2016. The challenges of the climate change due to the combustion of fossil fuels and the nuclear waste deposits are replaced by the challenge to store renewable energy in significant quantities. The CO2 free hydrogen cycle can be realized by purely technical means and hydrogen is produced by electrolysis from the renewable electricity. large scale electrolyzers (> 10 MW) have to be developed in order to produce hydrogen from renewable power stations. Furthermore, the storage of hydrogen requires materials with a large gravimetric hydrogen density in order to economize on the amount of material and on the cost for mobile and seasonal energy storages. The storage of hydrogen in nanocarbon materials as well as in complex hydrides may offer the necessary hydrogen density if the hydrides are reversible and sufficiently stable at ambient conditions. The storage of hydrogen under high pressure, in liquid form or in hydrides is a material challenge and limited to 50% of the energy density of liquid hydrocarbons.  The hydrogen can be used to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere in order to synthesize liquid hydrocarbons. This requires large scale electrolyzers, hydrogen storage, adsorption of CO2 from the atmosphere and finally a well controlled and selective reaction of H2 and CO2 to a specific product, e.g. octane. The storage of liquid hydrocarbons is an established technology.

The recent achievements in solid hydrogen storage are discussed and an outlook to future hydrides is given. Furthermore, the progress in the reduction and the challenges are shown as well as examples of demonstrators and business developments will be given.


[1] Zuettel, Andreas; Remhof, Arndt; Borgschulte, Andreas; Friedrichs, Oliver; 'Hydrogen: the future energy carrier'; PHILOSOPHICAL TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY A-MATHEMATICAL PHYSICAL AND ENGINEERING SCIENCES 368:1923 (2010), pp. 3329 - 3342

[2] Kato, Shunsuke; Matam, Santhosh Kumar; Kerger, Philipp; Bernard, Laetitia; Battaglia, Corsin; Vogel, Dirk; Rohwerder, Michael; Zuttel, Andreas; 'The Origin of the Catalytic Activity of a Metal Hydride in CO2 Reduction'; ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION 55:20 (2016), pp. 6028 - 6032

[3] Kato, Shunsuke; Borgschulte, Andreas; Ferri, Davide; Bielmann, Michael; Crivello, Jean-Claude; Wiedenmann, Daniel; Parlinska-Wojtan, Magdalena; Rossbach, Peggy; Lu, Ye; Remhof, Arndt; Zuettel, Andreas; 'CO2 hydrogenation on a metal hydride surface'; PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS 14:16 (2012), pp. 5518 - 5526


Born 22. 8. 1963 in Bern, Switzerland. 1985 Engineering Degree in Chemistry, Burgdorf, Switzerland. 1990 Diploma in Physics from the Unversity of Fribourg (UniFR), Switzerland. 1993 Dr. rer. nat. from the science faculty UniFR. 1994 Post Doc with AT&T Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, USA. 1997 Lecturer at the Physics Department UniFR. 2003 External professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands. 2004 Habilitation in experimental physics at the science faculty UniFR. President of the Swiss Hydrogen Association „HYDROPOLE“. 2006 Head of the section “Hydrogen & Energy” at EMPA and Prof. tit. in the Physics department UniFR. 2009 Guest Professor at IMR, Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. 2012 Visiting Professor at Delft Technical University, The Netherlands, 2014 Full Professor for Physical Chemsitry, Institut des Sciences et Ingénierie Chimiques, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland

Fig. Schematic representation of the closed materials cycle, where hydrogen is produced from renewable energy and used together with CO2 from the atmosphere to synthesize hydrocarbons as CO2 neutral energy carriers.

Event Contact Name: 

Francisco Garcia Garcia

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