Jochen Löffler joins VoltaChem as program manager Power-2-Hydrogen

10-06-2020 | P2Hydrogen

Jochen Löffler joins VoltaChem as program manager Power-2-HydrogenEarlier this year, Jochen Löffler joined VoltaChem as program manager Power-2-Hydrogen. As a senior project manager and leader of the electrochemistry cluster at TNO, Löffler will contribute to VoltaChem's efforts in realizing a full-scale viable technology for hydrogen production through water electrolysis.

Jochen Löffler received his MSc in Physics from TU Berlin in 1998 and obtained his PhD from Utrecht University in 2005 for his thesis on ‘Transparent conductive oxides for thin-film Silicon Solar Cells’. In 2005, he joined the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands as a senior researcher. He has been, amongst others, project manager Solar Energy and program manager Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell Technology. Since February 2020, he leads the Electrochemistry Cluster at the Biomass and Energy Efficiency group within TNO and is responsible for VoltaChem's program line Power-2-Hydrogen. There the focus is on cost reduction and reliability improvement of hydrogen production using water electrolysis. 

In his role at the Electrochemistry Cluster Löffler considers himself as a 'spider in the web' when it comes to technology development for water electrolysis. A very wide web, for that matter: "Thanks to the Faraday Lab at TNO in Petten, we have a very strong position. But our relevance for electrolysis technology and Power-2-Hydrogen in a broader sense goes beyond that. We have plenty of expertise in technology development as well as innovation management. Think of the Holst Centre, TNO Industry, Solliance Research - there's a very broad base for establishing a viable value chain in green hydrogen. As a program manager Power-2-Hydrogen at VoltaChem I'll see to it that interested third parties are connected to the right partners."

After having been active in the development of solar cell technology for many years, Löffler switched roles early 2020 to join the world of electrolysis. He has quickly become familiar with it: "From technology development in thin active layer systems, to technology transfer and making the step to actual manufacturing, there actually are many parallels". Adding to this, it enables him to continue to be of relevance to society. "Although I find pleasure in technology development in itself, I am especially motivated by sustainable technology and I see great opportunities in electrolysis. When I started working on solar technology, many people had still doubts whether this could play a significant role in our energy system and economy. But we have all witnessed how fast it took off, with practical learning curves beating the most optimistic expectations! I am convinced that we will see the same acceleration in the production of green hydrogen via electrolysis. We will see a steep learning curve and already many parties are eager to participate."

Provide the drivers for green hydrogen

For Löffler the challenge now is to achieve a critical mass enabling actual innovation in an ecosystem that also involves large industrial players. "In some cases a fundamental research approach will be needed, in others it is a matter of scaling up - in technology development we have to cover all aspects." At the same time, Löffler adds, society has to ensure the right conditions for green hydrogen production to mature. "We know that in industry it's all about cost-benefit analysis. For instance, if the cheapest option is to capture and store CO2 underground as for ‘blue’ hydrogen production, that's what will happen. In itself that's not a bad thing, as it does mitigate carbon emission. But I think that as a society, we must provide the drivers towards using green hydrogen, which will lead to real industrial sustainability." 


Would you like to get in touch with Jochen? Please contact him here.


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