Investigating freestanding energy-to-hydrogen fuel generation by solar energy absorption

About FreeHydroCells

FreeHydroCells, a multi-partner European consortium, led by University College Cork (UCC), has received nearly €3.75 million in Horizon Europe research funding for just over 3 years of exploratory activity.

If fully successful, the ambitious “high-risk/high return” project could provide a low-cost solar-to-chemical energy conversion system designed using sustainable materials. This system has the potential to significantly impact the global energy supply market and assist in urgently needed climate action.

FreeHydroCells overview

Open access

FreeHydroCells is committed to open access and all publications from the project will be made freely accessible.

Technology scale-up readiness

The envisioned proof-of-concept system will be designed, built, tested and protected in such a way as to enable a rapid scale-up if successful.

Equitable scale-up

Any potential scale-up of the system will remain as designed: cheap, reproducible, accessible, and environmentally friendly.

Public engagement

FreeHydroCells is committed to engaging with the general public for input and feedback on all outputs from the project.

Our team

The FreeHydroCells consortium includes four teams from across Tyndall National Institute and the School of Chemistry at University College Cork, Ireland who will collaborate with organisations from across Europe, including the Commissariat a l’Energie Atomique et aux Energie Alternatives, France; Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen, Germany; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy; Gesellschaft fur Angewandte Mikro und Optoelektronik mit Beschrankterhaftung GmbH, Germany; and BARDS Acoustic Science Labs, Ireland. The project’s science communication partner is UCC Academy, Ireland, who will also provide support on project management.

FreeHydroCells consortium map

Our research

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News & events

FreeHydroCells Newsletter: Issue 1 Nov 2023

30 November, 2023
The first annual project newsletter features news and updates on activities over the first 12 months of the project.
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Meet the Team: UCC

8 November, 2023
Dr. Ievgen Nedrygailov, a Postdoctoral Researcher at the School of Chemistry in University College Cork, tells us about the UCC research team who are involved in the FreeHydroCells project.
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Meet the Team: IMM-CNR

1 November, 2023
Dr. Giuseppe Suriani of the Institute for Microelectronics and Microsystems at Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche tells us about how the organisation's expertise plays a leading role in the FreeHydroCells project workplan, and how each team member is contributing towards the project work.
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Project General Assembly Meeting held in Cork, Ireland

13 October, 2023
The first annual General Assembly meeting of the FreeHydroCells project took place in Kinsale, Co. Cork, Ireland from 4th-5th October 2023. Project lead partner University College Cork hosted consortium partners from across Europe at the meeting, which focused on further advancing the scientific goals of the project.
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Meet the Team: RWTH Aachen

22 September, 2023
We spoke to Vikas Jangra of RWTH Aachen about the team’s expertise and their role in the FreeHydroCells project.
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Meet the Team: BARDS Acoustic Science Labs

29 August, 2023
Dr. Dara Fitzpatrick of BARDS Acoustic Science Labs tells us about how the team's expertise in acoustic spectroscopy feeds into FreeHydroCells' project work.
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New video showcases state-of-the-art ALD equipment at Tyndall, UCC

21 August, 2023
In a new video, researcher Jun Lin showcases the capabilities of two pieces of state-of-the-art ALD (atomic layer deposition) equipment at the Advanced Materials and Surfaces Group, based in Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork in Ireland.
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FreeHydroCells featured in Nanovate! magazine

16 August, 2023
'Inspired by Nature' - A two page feature on the FreeHydroCells project was published in the July 2023 edition of Nanovate! magazine. The piece illustrates how the core concept of FreeHydroCells draws on naturally occurring photosynthesis processes found in the natural world.
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Q&A with FreeHydroCells’ Alex Buttimer

10 August, 2023
We sat down with Alex Buttimer to learn more about her background, nanoscience research interests, and the valuable contribution she has made towards the development of FreeHydroCells' gas collection systems during her summer internship at Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork.
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FreeHydroCells featured at ISMES X

20 July, 2023
The FreeHydroCells project concept was featured among a series of potential future technologies in sustainable energy production, at the recent ISMES X International School of Materials for Energy and Sustainability.
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