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Air Liquide launches second Scientific Challenge on essential small molecules; hydrogen in two out of three topics

Following the success of the first edition which mobilized 130 academic and startup partners, Air Liquide has launched a second Scientific Challenge designed to advance research in an open innovation approach. This year, the three topics selected are aimed at improving air quality and preventing global warming for the planet.

The #2018AirLiquideScientificChallenge is open to academic teams, private Research & Development departments, startups, and private or public Institutes. All are invited to submit, from 25 June to 20 September, innovative scientific research projects using Essential Small Molecules on these topics:

  • Topic #01 on hydrogen production: “Lower-CO2 H2”. How to produce cost competitive hydrogen while reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

  • Topic #02 on the use of hydrogen in industrial processes: “H2 is coming”. How to use hydrogen to avoid CO2 emissions in industrial processes traditionally based on fossil fuel?

  • Topic #03 on sustainable food production: “Sustainable Farm to Fork”. How can our Essential Small Molecules help rise to the challenge of meeting the dietary needs of 9 billion people in a healthy, affordable, sustainable and environmentally friendly way?

An Air Liquide scientific prize coupled with a €50,000 grant will be awarded to each of the laureates at the end of 2018. Moreover, the Group will fund collaboration projects to up to €1.5 million, in order to develop the selected scientific proposals and transform them into market-tailored technologies.

Initiated by R&D and its m-Lab, the scientific community of Air Liquide experts on Essential Small Molecules, the #2018AirLiquideScientificChallenge is part of Air Liquide’s open innovation approach.

The first challenge, launched in 2016, targeted essential molecules: O2, N2, H2 and CO2. The jury selected three winners:

  • Kevin Sivula, professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland), on the subject of “Sunny H2 in a bottle”, or how to produce hydrogen out of water using solar energy;

  • Susumu Kitagawa, professor at Kyoto University, and Ryotaro Matsuda, professor at Nagoya University in Japan, on “Small molecules in my pocket”, or how to identify sponge materials for high density storage and safe supply of gases;

  • Jean-Michel Savéant, Marc Robert, and Cyrille Costentin, professors at Paris-Diderot University and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France), on the subject “CO2, give back your O2” or how to produce oxygen and carbon monoxide from CO2 in a sustainable way.



Interesting projets to promote the use of clean H2 in transportation and many other industries.


If we give it some thought H2 can be part of our transportation energy.

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