Development of a high performance, high pressure and low cost PEM electrolyser for hydrogen supply - SMARTH2PEM

The objective of the SMARTH2PEM project is to develop a low power (1KW) and, from the cost point of view, competitive PEM electrolyser able to generate highly pure (99.99%) hydrogen at high pressure (>15 Bar). The aim of this project is to contribute to the establishment of the hydrogen economy.

Two main lines have been developed to that end. On the one hand, alternatives designed to reduce the cost of the key components of PEM electrolysers, in addition to improving their efficiency – membranes, bipolar plates and electrocatalysts. And on the other hand, the creation of an efficient design for the different components that have been developed.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the so-called hydrogen economy. This term refers to an energy model in which hydrogen, obtained from clean energy, is used as a fuel to meet most of society’s energy needs.

To achieve this hydrogen economy, we need to overcome a number of impediments that have hitherto hindered its establishment. These impediments are the optimisation of the different technologies used to obtain hydrogen, based on renewable energies that make them competitive. And also the development of a hydrogen distribution system similar to the one that exists today for gasoline. And the development of hydrogen storage systems with reduced dimensions.

In addition, the specific technical objectives of this project include the development of suitable membranes that allow the electrolyser to run at high pressure and with adequate durability. Also the development of advanced electrodes that support the working conditions of the electrolyser (P, T and oxidation) and of a low-cost MEA (Membrane Electrode Assembly) manufacturing system for PEM electrolyser systems.

Another of the technical objectives of SMARTH2PEM is the development of a method to coat bipolar plates to protect them from corrosion, using low-cost metals as support.

Likewise, the development of an intelligent control system that makes it possible to manage hydrogen production efficiently and safely and to validate the operation of the prototype on a laboratory scale under behavioural conditions that simulate generation from renewable energies.

Finally, to reduce dependence on fossil fuels through the production of hydrogen which is moreover a clean fuel whose only residue is water, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Project subsidised by IVACE, the Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness of the Regional Government of Valencia, 50% co-financed through the FEDER Operational Programme of the Valencian Community 2014-2020, under file IMDEEA/2018/32

  • Start date: January 2018.
  • Duration: 12 months.
  • Status: ongoing.

File No: IMDEEA/2018/32. Amount granted: € 111,896.12


  • Mobility.
  • Energy and Water.


  • Technological Line 1-1: Energy Technologies


  • Programme: R&D IN COOPERATION




  • Name: Rubén Beneito
  • Telephone: 96 555 44 75
  • e-mail: