Nanostructured Redox Materials and Monolithic Reactors from Industrial Raw Materials and By-Products for the Production of Solar Hydrogen

National Action Range
Financing Code for Project
Project start year - end year
2011 - 2014
Financing organisation
General Secretariat for Research and Technology
Aerosol and Particle Technology Laboratory (APTL)
Other partners

Aeiforos S.A.

TOSOH Hellas A.I.C.


C SolutionS Ltd

Budget / APTL Budget
517,990 € / 280,000 €
Scientific Manager / Project researcher
A. G. Konstandopoulos
Project website

The present research proposal NANOREDSOL is based on the innovative technology of hydrogen production via solar thermochemical water splitting in monolithic reactors as introduced and implemented by the European research projects HYDROSOL and HYDROSOL-II. These projects were coordinated by the Aerosol and Particle Technology Laboratory (APTL) of the Chemical Process Engineering Research Institute of the Centre for Research and Technology-Hellas (CPERI/CERTH), which is also the coordinator of the present proposal. The know-how acquired by the aforementioned projects provides a substantial starting point for the current proposal, in order to significantly improve the critical technology points that will contribute to the cost reduction of "solar hydrogen" production, accelerating both the introduction of this specific technology into the market and its industrial commercialization.

The concept of NANOREDSOL and the creation of this specific consortium derives from the fact that many critical aspects of this technology can be successfully solved through a Greek research-industrial partnership that will combine and cover the whole process cycle, which includes the valorization of low-cost native sources, the development and implementation of innovative research ideas as well as the commercial exploitation of the produced results. The proposed consortium consists of five partners: one research organization -i.e. APTL/CPERI/CERTH, the project coordinator - two metallurgical industries (AEIFOROS S.A a member of SIDENOR group and TOSOH Hellas Ltd a subsidiary of TOSOH S.A.) and two highly specialized small-medium enterprises (HLPRA and CPERI Solutions). All partners are located in the region of Central Macedonia.

The main objective of the proposed project is the development of nanostructured materials and monolithic reactors that will exploit solar energy with the aim of hydrogen production via thermochemical water splitting. Based on the scientifically established fact that mixed oxides containing iron and/or manganese and/or zinc cations are among the most suitable 'oxygen carriers' for the redox process of thermochemical water splitting, the main focus of NANOREDSOL is the production of such nanostructured materials via non-conventional synthesis techniques and their subsequent shaping into ceramic honeycomb monoliths that will combine excellent concentrated solar radiation absorbance, cyclic redox behavior and maximized volumetric hydrogen production. The raw materials for the manufacturing of these structures will be low-cost products or by-products of the selected metallurgical industries that participate in the present Consortium.

In conjunction to the description above, the main scientific/technical objectives of the proposed project are the following:

  • The conversion of solar energy to thermochemical one, so that hydrogen is produced by a low-cost and renewable resource, i.e. H2O.

  • The exploitation/valorization of industrial products/byproducts of national metallurgical industries that will be utilized in the synthesis of nanostructured redox materials, based on iron mixed oxides, as suitable 'oxygen carriers' in thermochemical hydrogen production.

  • The utilization of these nanostructured materials for the manufacturing of multi-channel, porous honeycomb structures so that redox activity can be performed within the entire monolith volume while the concentrated solar radiation is fully absorbed and the process-required temperature ranges are achieved.

  • The manufacture and operation of a lab-scale novel reactor for hydrogen production via thermochemical water splitting.

  • The design and construction of a 60kW 'solar simulator', able to produce concentrated irradiation that will emulate the solar one.

  • The convergence of the proposed technology with the needs of a typical industrial hydrogen end-user, at a pilot-scale level.

  • The techno-economic evaluation of the proposed technology, based on the produced results and the future benefits that such a technology will incur to the industrial project partners.

The successful implementation of the project objectives will significantly contribute to the emergence of an integrated and autonomous native technology for hydrogen production via nanostructured materials by means of the exploitation of concentrated solar irradiation. At the same time, the project targets will be achieved via the utilization of native raw materials and know-how, which in turn will provide significant direct benefits to the conservation of valuable energy resources, the gradual reduction in the utilization of imported fossil fuels and finally the energy independence of Greece.