The consortium, coordinated by Aqualia, integrates seven leading companies in the development and implementation of the hydrogen and biomethane value chain: FCC Medio Ambiente, CADE, Ghenova, Ariema Enerxía, H2B2, Idecal and MindCaps
ECLOSION project will develop new materials, technologies, and processes for the generation, storage, transport, and use of renewable hydrogen and bio-methane, to be obtained from bio-waste (urban, agri-food, wastewater, and sewage sludge).
The consortium counts with the collaboration of ten prestigious research entities, including research and technology centers (IMDEA Energía, CSIC, CIEMAT, CARTIF and AICIA) and universities (Valladolid, Extremadura, Castilla-La Mancha, Autónoma de Madrid and Girona).
The project will validate disruptive thermochemical, electrochemical, and bioelectrochemical systems powered by photovoltaic and wind energy for the energy use of biowaste and wastewater, transforming them into hydrogen and biomethane at low cost. The resulting gas mixtures will be purified using new membranes and an advanced process based on green solvents. The optimization and combination of these technologies will allow a very significant reduction in the cost of obtaining hydrogen and biomethane. Also, the separated CO2 waste streams will be processed by innovative bioelectrochemical systems to obtain biomethane thanks to the co-production of hydrogen in situ.
ECLOSION includes innovative solutions that take advantage of existing infrastructures for the distribution and transport of hydrogen and biomethane. In case of needing storage for these energy vectors, novel processes will be available, including the use of new materials based on hydrides. In addition, the implementation of fuel cells powered by hydrogen and biomethane, with much higher efficiency than current solutions, will maximize electricity generation, solving the challenge of the inefficiency of the systems currently used (energy losses). Thanks to the high electrical storage capacity of the supercapacitor materials developed in ECLOSION, the use of the generated electricity will be optimized. Improvements in storage strategies will provide new opportunities to harmonize the production and demand of energy vectors – thermal and electrical uses -, thus promoting sustainable and viable solutions that reduce current energy dependence.
The development of energy optimization tools will accelerate the implementation and integration of ECLOSION. Smart, robust, flexible, and eco-efficient energy systems will be designed from the source to the point of consumption. The developments cover automatic learning algorithms (Machine Learning) for the optimal management of energy (thermal and electrical) and renewable electricity networks, including its production, distribution, storage, and use in different uses, including vehicle fuel, renewable electricity network, gas distribution network, and industry.
The ECLOSION OBSERVATORY has been set up, in which 25 sponsoring entities and preferential users have already confirmed their participation, including three industrial associations, ten industries (two of them gas network managers), two consortiums (municipal and provincial), four supramunicipal administrations, and six city councils. Four of the towns involved will cede their public facilities, which will be provided for the implementation and validation of the benefits of ECLOSION. These are the wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) managed by Aqualia in Salamanca, Lleida, and Jerez de la Frontera, and the Valladolid waste treatment center (CTR) managed by FCC Medio Ambiente. The selected venues have a remarkable track record in the development of innovative initiatives towards a circular, sustainable, and decarbonized economy.
ECLOSION is an opportunity for economic reactivation focused on the energy use of local and regional resources around the promotion of green hydrogen and biomethane. The national deployment of this solution would allow reaching an annual capacity of 64 TWh of hydrogen (including 46.5 TWh of biohydrogen) and 8.8 TWh in the form of biomethane, which would mean an outstanding contribution of 4.8% to the national energy mix. In addition, it would guarantee to reach the 2030 energy production objectives included in the Hydrogen and Biogas Routes and would lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of approximately 13.8 million Tm CO2, 5.3% less compared to the figure for 2019.
In turn, the project represents an opportunity to promote quality employment, since it involves the maintenance of direct employment for 71 people and the creation of 11 new jobs, most of which are for women.
ECLOSION has a budget of €6,602,498 and funding of €4,451,374.85 by the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI – Centro de Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial), within the framework of the 2021 call for the MISIONES CIENCIA E INNOVACIÓN 2021 – MISSIONS SCIENCE AND INNOVATION 2021 Program (Recovery Plan , Transformation and Resilience), and has the support of the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The aid granted to the project is financed by the European Union through the Next Generation EU Fund.