Nowadays, we find ourselves confronted with a multitude of distinct yet interrelated challenges concerning energy and the environment. As researchers we need to seek out sustainable solutions to address these issues, focusing on the production of renewable energy and environmental remediation.

Along these lines, we propose to combine environment purification with hydrogen production. To do so, we want to produce cheap hydrogen from urea, a common and abundant pollutant, catalyzed by Nickel-based material recovered from wastewater.

We are currently collaborating with industrial partner Hyter s.r.l. to produce hydrogen by alkaline water electrolyzers. Urea, a very common and biogenic waste product, can be used as fuel to be added to the electrolyzer; indeed, changing from alkaline water to urea solution is expected to dramatically reduce the minimum electrochemical potential to produce hydrogen from 1.23 V to only 0.37 V, a clear economic benefit for hydrogen production.

The electrocatalysts in the electrolyzers are Nickel-based materials and that can be obtained from water purification through Circular Materials s.r.l. from polluted water.  

To effectively study this project a multiple-view approach needs to be undertaken.

From a chemical and engineering point of view, we will implement the Ni nanoparticles and urea into the electrolyzer. We will also perform a careful analysis of the complex environmental impact of this project, that links two forms of waste management with hydrogen production.