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Producing hydrogen sustainably from sunlight

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A Lausanne-based startup, SoHHytec, specialized in the creation of fuel and solar energy. It has invented a revolutionary technique that simultaneously converts sunlight into fuel, energy, and heat.

The “Arb” solution offered by the start-up could assist numerous industrial participants in accelerating their energy transformation!

Currently, fossil fuels account for 96% of the world’s hydrogen generation. In addition, the cost of transporting hydrogen is two to three times that of creating it, and the modes of transport utilized are highly toxic and pay little regard to the environmental aspect. When we view hydrogen as a significant component of the energy transition, this is a major conundrum.

Towards a sustainable hydrogen production

Aware of this issue, the SoHHytec firm proposes a novel method to the hydrogen manufacturing process in order to advance the situation. The solution, according to its two inventors, is to rely on lighter production facilities in order to encourage a decentralized system in which hydrogen is produced as close to its point of use as feasible, in a clean and environmentally friendly manner. Today, seven employees in the Lausanne office of the startup are working towards this goal.

The Arb product has been put on the EPFL campus after more than six years of extensive research and development at the Laboratory of Science and Engineering of Renewable Energies. This technology is based on the startup’s proprietary “integrated photo-electrochemical” gadget. Water is fed into the core of the Arb (artificial tree) while the sun’s rays are focused on the photovoltaic surface of the gadget. The efficient creation of hydrogen results from the direct fission of the water molecule, which is caused by the combined action of heat and the production of electric charges. The gadget generates hydrogen, oxygen, energy, and heat without emitting carbon dioxide.

An innovative concept with Swiss and Indian manufacturer interests

SoHHytec’s breakthrough technology has already swept the Swiss innovation scene: after winning multiple national contests, the startup has formed a number of relationships with Swiss industrial conglomerates. A first step has recently been taken on the international market: the company is happy to have secured various partnerships with Indian industry leaders. A project is currently in the execution phase in India. However, the new firm is primarily focused on two industrial projects it is building in Aigle and Neuchatel, where its solution will be deployed on the ground.

SoHHytec is sure that their technology will fulfill the needs of other industries in the near future. SoHHytec intends to implement Arbs gardens and woodlands. In fact, its prototype might be immediately installed in urban areas to supply residences. Additionally, it could equip industrial operations and power manufacturing machines and infrastructure, particularly at steel and mining production facilities. Additionally, the Arb system satisfies the requirements of the mobility, chemical, agricultural, and space industries.

Maintaining competitiveness with regard to costs

Direct competitors of SoHHytec are businesses that supply sustainable energy solutions and consequently green power and hydrogen. However, the absence of transportation and consequent CO2 emissions distinguishes SoHHytec’s eco-friendly and user-friendly solution. “We employ a method that utilizes both light and water, which permits us to be twice as efficient. Our solution’s primary benefit is its efficiency, together with its durability and high production. The pricing of the system is also quite competitive “The start-chief up’s executive officer, Saurabh Tembhurne, explains.

The SoHHytec team has big ambitions for the following six months. Its primary objective is to implement its solution on a bigger scale and advance ongoing national projects. In addition, a demonstration project of the technology is planned for an industrial facility. The story continues!

Nedim Husomanovic

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