Molymet Rhenium Challenge final winners

NineSigma is very proud to be a partner with Molymet for this Challenge, and to have delivered innovative solutions. It has been a remarkable experience to tackle with Innovation the market development of Rhenium.

Molymet has awarded each winner $20k each, initially deciding to select 3 winners only for this challenge, but due to the great and quality ideas that have been submitted, they’ve decided to change the number of winners and go beyond with prize money. To highlight this challenge, many proposals from all over the world have been submitted from Asia, North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Middle east, etc.

Starting this challenge with the process of selecting 3 Winners but ended up with amazing ideas and proposals from all over the globe, thus 4 Winners were selected!

– Grein Research for Utilization of Rhenium in the Rational Design of Electrocatalysts for Seawater Electrolysis | Iceland
– Ionomr Innovations Inc. for The Most Efficient & Cost-Effective Green Hydrogen Production by Alkaline AEM Electrolysis | Canada
– Spark Cleantech for Hydrogen and CO Production by Nanosecond Plasma Discharge Using Rhenium as Catalyzer | France
– SunGreenH2 for Highly stable, highly efficient PH-universal catalyst/electrode based on Rhenium for green hydrogen generation | Singapore

Brief description of the winners’ solution

Winner from Grein Research  proposed technology deals with feasibility study of utilization of rhenium and its compounds in the electrolysis of seawater (saltwater). The project is high risk – high pay-off type and will include a series of screening experiments where Re and compounds will be used as an anodic (Oxygen Evolution Reaction – OER) and if budget allows cathodic (Hydrogen Evolution Reaction – HER) electrocatalysts for seawater electrolysis in alkaline conditions.

Ionomr Innovations Inc.  solution proposal aimed at exploring and implementing Rhenium as a catalyst or co-catalyst at the cathode of anion exchange membranes – AEM water electrolyzers.

Spark Cleantech proposed a solution aiming at developing a plasma technology to produce H2 by methane pyrolysis with a cost of 20kWh/kgH2 and falling. The use of an alloy W-Re in our
electrodes could help us to be as close as possible to the theoretical limit of 5.8kWh/kgH2. During the H2 production W electrodes present erosion. The use an alloy W-Re in the
electrodes could improve by 58% the production yield of hydrogen from biomass.

Finally, SunGreenH2 The key novelty of the approach is to develop highly stable and efficient catalyst/electrode that can operate under both the acidic and basic environments for adaptability with the entire spectrum of electrolyser technologies available in the market today – including alkaline, proton exchange membrane (PEM) and Anion Exchange Membrane (AEM) electrolyser technologies.

More about the challenge

The goal of this challenge is to incorporate rhenium in novel catalyst formulations that allow efficient and economic production of hydrogen from renewable sources and/or the use of hydrogen in fuel cells or chemicals synthesis, in order to make green hydrogen a viable carbon-free chemical and energy vector.

In the spirit of open-source science and our commitment to the well-being of humanity through products developed by people who care about the planet, Molymet believes that the excellent catalytic properties of rhenium can help improve the hydrogen value chain, thus contributing to its decarbonization.

Prevention actions against climate change require that world economies decarbonize their industries and energy systems. This is a huge challenge because the energy matrix relies on fossil fuel burning, which has the highest greenhouse gas incidence. Hydrogen (H2) generation is an alternative for the transition to clean, low-carbon energy systems.

Hydrogen is a crucial chemical for ammonia-based fertilizers and could be used in iron ore reduction for the steel industry and to produce biofuel and synthetic hydrocarbons. These are key industries for our present and future, and therefore it is imperative to decarbonize them. In addition, hydrogen can be stored and transported safely, and transformed into electricity in a fuel cell, thus being an excellent energy carrier.

Electrolysis is an auspicious source of hydrogen, but several challenges are still to be addressed: Access to affordable renewable energy, a significant reduction in electrolyzer cost, and high-capacity factor in electrolysis plants. One of the major costs of electrolyzers is the catalyst materials, which are based on platinum or platinum group metals (PGM). Several efforts are under development to address these challenges, aiming to reduce the devices’ cost, improving efficiency, and extending service life. The search for alternative, competitive, and sustainable catalyst materials is a crucial line of research and development.

In this context, rhenium emerges as an excellent alternative to PGMs, due to its remarkable electrochemical properties, reduced cost compared to PGMs, and its stable and sustainable sourcing. Rhenium, and its oxides and sulfides, has shown promising properties for the catalysis of the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) and hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR). Rhenium’s catalytic properties have been explored for multiple reactions, from reforming fossil fuels to bio-refining and others

We are proud to have collaborated on this amazing innovative challenge together with Molymet and to have successfully ended it with great proposals and innovative ideas from the winners.


#Innovative #Collaboration #Rehenim

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