French start-up ERGOSUP launches its first fully integrated HyRiS Lab Product station (Hydrogen Refuelling Station) at the chemistry department of Lyon 1 University of Technology (IUT).
This innovative solution corresponds to the specific needs of academic and industrial laboratories.
The installation marks a key stage in the development of ERGOSUP, a start-up based in the south of France. The company designs hydrogen generators employing its unique, patented technology to electrolyse water directly under very high pressure. On June the 19th, the company, based in the Drôme region, began the installation of its first compact station to produce and store hydrogen at the university campus.
The solution, used to produce the small quantities of hydrogen needed by research lecturers and students in the university lab, is a first at the IUT Lyon 1 chemistry department, where it will be tested out from the start of the academic year. With this first product commercialization, in an exclusive partnership, and following two years of R&D, ERGOSUP is kicking off a new phase in its development thanks to €11 M capital raised in February 2019.
«With HyRiS Lab, which is a registered trademark, we’re taking our first steps on the market by addressing the hydrogen needs of academic and industrial laboratories. This is the first product in our future range of integrated hydrogen production and storage stations. Thanks to our innovation, IUT Lyon 1 will be the first lab to produce its own hydrogen! With a production capacity at 100 bars from 0.7 to 4 kg per week, it satisfies the specific needs of labs that use hydrogen in their work.
HyRiS Lab has several advantages compared to traditional solutions, in terms of logistics, cost and security. For the ERGOSUP team, which is fully committed to developing these decentralised energy solutions with low carbon impacts, this is a crucial move because it takes us from R&D to implementation, in real operating conditions », explained Lucile Voiron, Deputy Chief Executive of ERGOSUP.
HyRiS Lab is based on the patented technology developed by ERGOSUP to produce and store hydrogen using very high-pressure electrolysis. Following a prototype phase validated and tested in late 2018, industrialisation and production began in early 2019. A series of five new machines is currently in the early production stages, with a market launch target of late 2019.
« Hydrogen is the future. For us, partnering with ERGOSUP on an innovative technology for use in innovative science is extremely interesting. Analytical chemistry is a growing sector, with 80% of studies set to use apparatus employing hydrogen in the long term. The solution developed by ERGOSUP, a start-up we know well, is suited to the small volumes we use. It brings real logistical benefits: until now, we’ve been managing our hydrogen supply with bottles delivered by truck that we change when empty. It’s heavy and less reliable in terms of security. With an on-site apparatus that we supply with water, the process is simpler, cheaper, safer and better for the environment. After the summer break, the solution will be operating at full capacity. During the following months, we’ll be able to validate the gas quality and the process reliability », explained Fabrice Randeau, Deputy Head of the chemistry department at IUT Lyon 1.
The objective for ERGOSUP is to equip academic and industrial laboratories that consume small quantities of hydrogen with HyRiS Labs, amounting to a turnover of €700,000 to €800,000. At the same time, it will accelerate its development on other target markets, such as “zero-emission” mobility with different types of hydrogen-powered electric vehicles (drones, forklifts, bicycles, cars, etc.) and on-site production of industrial gas to replace supplies made by truck.
Currently, 95% of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels and less than 0.01% by water electrolysis, but the objective established in the government’s June 2018 hydrogen programme is 10% decarbonated hydrogen by 2023, and 40% by 2028. This French programme fits into an ambitious international environment, where hydrogen use is being organised everywhere with investments from industrials, commitment from local areas, and deployment of applications.
ERGOSUP is part of this growing field thanks to its unique, patented expertise in hydrogen production, which means it can respond to user expectations and target a specific, sparsely populated niche market. The start-up is capable of supplying decentralised, decarbonised hydrogen that is competitive and secure, close to users, and with a capacity totally adapted to requirements.