In the course of reducing emissions, hydrogen is foreseen to be a key player in a future low-carbon economy. It can be produced from renewable energies and its use generates no emissions. By switching to low-carbon hydrogen in the mobility and industry sectors, 70 Mtons of CO2 emissions could be avoided in 2030.
However, the storage and delivery of hydrogen in its gaseous form is problematic because of handling and safety issues and from a regulatory point of view. Furthermore, even under high pressure, the most usual way of transporting the element, hydrogen has a low density, which increases costs and greenhouse gas emissions related to its transportation. Considering these hurdles, hydrogen technologies are struggling to develop at large scale.
HySiLabs developed an innovative solution to facilitate hydrogen transportation, by charging and releasing hydrogen in a unique liquid carrier. HySiLabs’ breakthrough innovation, has the potential to remove all barriers hindering the deployment of hydrogen solutions by tackling safety, regulations and supply chain issues. HySiLabs’ high degree of novelty is characterised by the fact that hydrogen can be easily transported: in liquid form, HydroSil can be carried everywhere without any specific restrictions and stored for long periods of time, just like conventional fuels. In contrast with the pure gaseous hydrogen, HySiLabs’ solution is stable, non-toxic and safe at ambient conditions and it carries seven times more hydrogen than high pressure solutions. Due to its stable, non-explosive nature, the HySiLabs’ hydrogen carrier can be easily transported and stored at standard conditions by employing already known liquid-handling logistics infrastructure. Hence, a quick and straightforward mass-scale deployment of the technology.
Pierre-Emmanuel Casanova - CEO
Vincent Lôme, Ph.D - CSO
Claire Burtin - Analyst
Remy Benoit, Ph.D - Chemical industry Expert
Benjamin Burcher, Ph.D - Chemical research Engineer
Eric De Kezel - Senior Patent Attorney
HySiLabs was founded thanks to a chance discovery in Aix-Marseille University laboratories. This unexpected chemical reaction enabled an instant release of hydrogen from a stable, emission-free and safe liquid without any additional energy input.
What was the inspiration behind the creation the company in 2015 right after the discovery?
The solution seemed like a breakthrough within the realm of hydrogen handling. In fact, hydrogen is a promising energy vector that is gaining traction. However, its natural gaseous state makes it difficult to transport and store, delaying its large-scale deployment.
One of the HySiLabs’ cofounders who was working with the university researchers decided to take the leap and make this solution commercially available in order to facilitate the transition into a hydrogen economy.
This hydrogen release technology has been proved and tested in several prototypes, designed by HySiLabs. At the same time, HySiLabs’ team has also developed a technology to charge the liquid with hydrogen to make it a hydrogen carrier. HySiLabs’ global solution (including charge and discharge of the carrier) is then functioning under the principles of the circular economy for an improved management of logistics and resources.
Since the foundation, the start-up has raised €2.6M of funds and has received recognition from several entities such as incubators, accelerators, investors and the European Union through SME Instrument Phase 1 (Horizon 2020).