Pleased to meet: Jordi Creus Casanovas

20-09-2023 | P2Hydrogen


Pleased to meet: Jordi Creus CasanovasIn this series we put the spotlight on VoltaChem’s team members and get to know them more in-depth. We explore their role, background, expertise, motivations and ambitions. In this edition: Jordi Creus Casanovas, Lead Scientist AEM water electrolysis of the Power-2-Hydrogen program line at VoltaChem.

Jordi is a electrochemistry researcher interested in the development of sustainable materials for the electrolysis of water and the role of green hydrogen in the energy transition. He started his education in chemistry in Barcelona (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), went to Göttingen within the Erasmus program, and in Tarragona (Universitat Rovira i Virgili and Institut Català d’Investigació Química) for his master in synthesis and catalysis (2014) where he had his first contact with the water electrolysis field. After that Jordi obtained his PhD (2018) in Toulouse and Barcelona (Université Paul Sabatier and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), focussing on the preparation of metal nanoparticles  for the electrocatalytic water splitting process to obtain hydrogen. In September 2019 he moved to the Netherlands for a postdoc position at the University of Groningen and in February 2022 Jordi joined TNO as an electrolysis scientist. Since November 2022 he is the AEM lead in the Power-2-Hydrogen program line at VoltaChem.

How did you end up at TNO?

I came into contact with water electrolysis during my master thesis and continued working on this topic in my PhD research. After that I wondered whether I should continue in academia or go into industry. After exploring different possibilities, I decided to take on a postdoc position in Groningen, which focused on the electrocatalytic valorisation of biomass, within the Power-2-Chemicals field. During my time in Groningen I got into contact with TNO, and got very inspired  with our collaboration and the way TNO contributed to our shared research. After my postdoc the decision of stepping out of the academic research was clear, regardless of how much I enjoyed the more fundamental side of science, but at the same time I didn’t want to make a step to industry. TNO is positioned in between these two worlds, implementing the knowledge gained at the universities into the application in which the industry is focused, and that is something that thrills me since I work at TNO for the last year and a half.

What does your job at VoltaChem involve?

Since I started at TNO I’ve worked on several electrolysis projects within the PEM and AEM domains. Currently I am leading the Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) water electrolysis program at VoltaChem. That means that by talking to peer scientists and partners in the value chain, I propose potential developments that speed up the position in the market of AEM electrolyzers, also looking into strategic partners that could contribute to such program. In this regard, we are currently setting up a new Shared Research Program (SRP) to accelerate the developments of the current and the next generation of AEM electrolyzers. One of our goals is to have impact on the future of the Dutch industry and the overall society. Therefore we’ll bring key partners together aiming to establish a strong, agile and market driven AEM research and development program, where every partner can learn from the others and thus enhance overall knowledge and progress of the AEM technology. 

What are your plans for the AEM SRP?

AEM is a promising technology, but still in a very premature phase. Concentred effort is needed to accelerate the development and increase lifetime and efficiency of its components. When looking inside an AEM electrolyzer, the membrane is one of the main limiting factors for the technology to become market competitive. With our program we want to increase the durability of AEM membranes by understanding the degradation processes that occur under the hydrogen production conditions. In general, gaining understanding on the degradation processes taking place at the different components and locations in the cells and stacks, is a key step to speed up and scale up the manufacturing of high-performance and durable materials. There are currently several start-up’s and companies that are making good progress in the field, what proves the interest and impact of such technology. At VoltaChem we want to bring these parties together and take an orchestrating and coordinating role to speed up the development of high performance AEM electrolysers and make it ready for mass production. The system has several similarities to the well-known  Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer, in which TNO and VoltaChem already  have a lot of experience. We will use that PEM experience to accelerate AEM development. The AEM SRP is in the process of forming a consortium: we are talking to potential partners from different steps in the value chain looking for a strong consortium similar to our PEM SRP program with Schaeffler, Bekaert and Johnson Matthey. Our goal is to establish a strong program together with key component developers, AEM stack suppliers, system developers and end users. The first steps are to scale up the current technology and develop improved components, like membranes, electrodes and coatings, to enhance lifetime and performance. The interaction of components and life-time testing are key focus points together with  minimizing the use of scarce materials to reduce costs. Our aimed output of the program will be a full stack formed by optimized components manufactured by the consortium partners, making a cost-competitive electrolyzer with an improved performance and a high level of comprehension o the phenomena taking place during operation. We aim to set up a three-years program, a bare minimum to ensure progress and knowledge growth, with possible extension to enlarge the possibilities of the consortium. For more details about the AEM SRP, have a look here at our Calls for Participation page. 

What are your personal ambitions and motivations in your work?

In general I’m motivated to face personal and professional challenges, employing acquired knowledge and expanding it towards the development of sustainable applications. As a scientist, I am fascinated by the interaction of molecules and the formation of products by chemical reactions. In a personal level, I’m especially interested and excited to be part of research in the formation of hydrogen via water electrolysis from renewable energy sources as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. My drive comes from the well-known human-kind-induced  environmental situation coming from the exhaustive use of fossil fuels, and the responsibility of our society to find solutions. Electrolysis is the technology used to produce renewable hydrogen with water and power from renewables, and is therefore a key enabling technology for zero emission energy. Water electrolysis can have a major impact on society, on people and the entire environment. In addition, in a personal level I enjoy working together with people from different backgrounds being able to learn one from each other: It is very rewarding and valuable to work with people who look at a challenge from different perspectives, putting together innovative solutions to those challenges. Therefore working at VoltaChem suits me perfectly. I love being part of a large group that work closely together putting the individual interests behind the collective drive. I strongly believe that when people work together, you get to a successful solution faster.

What are the biggest challenges in water electrolysis?

One of the difficulties is that as a novel field it is challenging to predict  how the phenomena will correlate when we scale-up to bigger cells and stacks and how we can optimise the process. Through pilot-scale projects we will have to discover what happens and we will have to come up with alternatives to overcome the different challenges. As VoltaChem we are looking at different technologies, AEM being one of them. We need all those different technologies, they are complementary to each other considering their different cost, performance, lifetime and conditions in which they can be operated. They all have their benefits and some are more suitable for a specific application than others.

Join us!

Do you want to know more about the our Shared Research Program focussing on AEM? Or are you interested in participating? Contact us.


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Lennart van der Burg

Business development Power-2-Hydrogen

+31 6 439 546 85


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