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EC approves formation of Genvia to accelerate development of CEA high-temp reversible solid oxide electrolyzer technology

Schlumberger New Energy, the CEA and partners announced the European Commission’s approval for the formation of Genvia, a clean hydrogen production technology venture. In a private-public partnership model, Genvia combines the expertise and experience of Schlumberger and the CEA with VINCI Construction, Vicat, and the investment vehicle of the French Occitanie Region, l’Agence Régionale de l’Energie et du Climat (AREC).

The new venture will accelerate the development and the first industrial deployment of CEA high-temperature reversible solid oxide electrolyzer cell technology (RSOC), as the most efficient and cost-effective technology for clean hydrogen production.

A reversible solid oxide cell (SOC) may operate either as a fuel cell (SOFC) or as an electrolyzer (SOEC).


Sketch of the principle of SOCs in SOFC and SOEC modes of operation. The blue top layer illustrates the porous oxygen electrode, the white layer is the dense oxide ion-conducting electrolyte and the green layer is the porous-fuel electrode plus the porous structural support of the cell. The operation temperature is typically around 750–800 °C. The open-circuit voltage (OCV) of an SOC with 50% H2O + 50% H2 at the fuel electrode and pure oxygen at the oxygen electrode, 1 bar and 750°C is close to 1.0 V. Mogensen et al. (2019) Clean Energy

Genvia technology aims to achieve the highest system efficiency, resulting in significantly less electricity use per kg of hydrogen produced.

CEA is also one of 16 partners in the European NewSOC (Next Generation Solid Oxide Fuel Cell and Electrolysis Technology) project, which is working to improve performance, durability, and cost-competitiveness of solid oxide cells & stacks compared to state-of-the-art (SoA).

The manufacturing of solid oxide electrolyzers will occur at the Genvia gigafactory, which will be established in Béziers, Occitanie Region, France. The center for technology transfer will be located at the CEA site in Grenoble, France.


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