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ECN transfers research activities to HyET

Last March the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) and HyET agreed that part of ECN’s research activities will be transferred to HyET. This involves research that was previously conducted within the ECN unit Hydrogen and Clean Fossil Fuels. A number of ECN hydrogen experts have meanwhile started working at HyET. Moreover, HyET has taken over patent applications and research equipment.

This transfer is in line with the new programme strategy of ECN. In this strategy, ECN focuses on strengthening the main activities for which it has obtained a strong (inter)national position: wind energy, solar energy, biomass, sustainable process and heat technology and policy studies.

For 25 years, ECN has successfully contributed to the development of fuel cells. A large number of ECN inventions are currently being marketed by Dutch and foreign companies. Fuel cells convert fuels such as natural gas and hydrogen into electricity in a very efficient manner.

HyET BV, Hydrogen Efficiency Technologies, was established in 2008 with the aim of developing efficient hydrogen technology. In the mean time, the company possesses a technology that can be used to bring hydrogen under high pressure with very little energy. This discovery is very important for realising hydrogen filling stations.

‘Since HyET was established, we have collaborated successfully with ECN’, says Wiebrand Kout (Head of Process Design). “This is world class knowledge that is very relevant for us. Although we regret that ECN had to end its hydrogen research, we are satisfied that we managed to take over a large part of the knowledge and research. There is large interest in HyET technology worldwide. This agreement gives us the opportunity to accelerate these developments significantly’.

‘ECN is happy’, says Ruud van de Brink (ECN manager Hydrogen Productions & CO2 capture), ‘that part of the knowledge, the people and the high-quality test equipment will be preserved for the Netherlands. To us HyET is an ideal party to continue the activities that we have started: marketing innovative hydrogen technology. Next to HyET, some of the fuel cell knowledge and equipment will be transferred to other Dutch businesses and universities. The development of CO2 capture technology, which used to be part of the unit Hydrogen and Clean Fossil Fuels, has now been integrated in the unit Biomass, Coal and Environmental Research. Combining the knowledge in the field of CO2 separation and conversion of biomass offers new significant opportunities for ECN’.