IITM, German institute collaborating to develop green energy solutions

Low cost technology to produce high-purity hydrogen

Published - June 25, 2020 10:40 pm IST - CHENNAI

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras are collaborating with their counterparts in Germany to develop new materials for green energy solutions.

The project, taken up under the Scheme for Promotion of academic and Research Collaboration or SPARC, aims at developing alternative technologies to produce green hydrogen in anticipation of transition to hydrogen-based economy.

SPARC is an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. Around ₹66 lakh has been allocated for the project.

N.V. Ravi Kumar of the Laboratory for High Performance Ceramics, Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering at the institute, is collaborating with Sanjay Mathur, Chair of Inorganic and Materials Chemistry, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, University of Cologne, Germany and other researchers.

Mr. Mathur is also an adjunct faculty in IITM’s Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering.

Greenhouse gas

Mr. Kumar said conventional methods of generating hydrogen result in a large quantity of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that imposed serious environmental concerns. Whereas electrochemical splitting of water, called ‘Water Electrolysis’ (WE), is clean, facile, and highly efficient technology for large-scale production of high-purity H2.

“Through this international collaboration we aim to develop novel low cost electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reactions,” he said.

“This highly interdisciplinary team is working to broaden the understanding of advanced electrocatalysts with the potential to transform lab-scale research to deployable reactors/devices, Mr. Kumar said.

The first phase of this project began with a visit to University of Cologne by IIT Madras researchers and Mr. Mathur’s visit to the Institute in February-March this year.

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