The web kick-off meeting held on 19th-20th January 2021, launched the activities of Best4Hy project (SustainaBlE SoluTions FOR recycling of end-of-life Hydrogen technologies), funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking within the European Unions’ Horizon 2020 research programme.
As demand for hydrogen technology increases, ever more devices become in use and will eventually end up in the waste stream, requiring therefore to be handled in a sustainable manner. However, according to the findings of previous research initiatives, there are very few examples of viable and up-scaled technologies for the recovery and recycling of critical raw materials from fuel cells (FCs) and electrolysers.
BEST4Hy focuses on the development and validation of existing and novel recycling processes for two key fuel cell and hydrogen products: proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM FC) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). The project aims to adapt two existing recycling processes applied already to other technologies and to validate a novel dismantling process for PEMFC. Furthermore, a novel SOFC recycling technology will be proved. At the end of the processes, the materials will be validated in terms of quality and performance when re-used in new components and in new stacks, demonstrating the overall efficiency of recycling. Ambitious targets for recycled content in new stacks/cells have been set and will be validated by fuel cell producers, to prove the viability of higher value, closed loop recycling. Environmental impact and cost-benefits evaluations on the proposed technologies will be performed. This will support a more efficient use of raw materials, including critical resources, and it will contribute to improve the end-of-life treatment of the hydrogen technologies and to foster a circular economy approach within the sector.
BEST4Hy international consortium is composed by industrial partners and research institutes: Environment Park SpA (Italy), CEA Liten (France), Turin Politecnico (Italy), Hensel Recycling Gmbh (Germany), Elringklinger AG (Germany), Aktsiaselts Elcogen (Estonia), RINA Consulting SpA (Italy), University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
Envipark is the BEST4HY project coordinator and it will be involved in all the WPs. In particular, it will lead the WP7 Dissemination, communication and exploitation. Moreover, Envipark will operate in WP6 developing the training plan and the training kit; in the same WP, it will be involved in regulation analysis and involvement of stakeholders and policy makers.