Increased production of renewable energies is necessary for a sustainable development and for a cleaner environment. While renewable electricity is already being produced from solar and wind energies, several key components in these novel technologies contain significant amounts of Critical Raw Materials (CRM), such as platinum-group-metals (PGM) and rare-Earth elements (the list of CRMs as defined by the European Commission can be found at For a large-scale and sustainable deployment, the CRM content must be significantly reduced in e.g. solar cells, lightweight magnets, rechargeable batteries, electrolyzers and fuel cells.

contextElectrolyzers and fuel cells can be used in tandem to reversibly store renewable electricity in the form of dihydrogen or liquid fuels, with broad applications for smart electricity grids, and also for portable electronics and for clean electric vehicles with long driving range.


Materials widely used in energy technologies (1700-2000)
From: Wolker, Z., Simons, J., Redler, A., Ashfield, M., Renne, C. IBPI, 2014, Materials Critical to the Energy Industry - An Introduction (courtesy of BP International Limited.)

The CREATE project aims at developing new concepts of hydrogen fuel cells and water electrolyzers based on polymer electrolytes with lower acidity than the ones currently in use. This approach will allow the use, combination and/or development of novel anode and cathode catalysts that are free of CRM (and especially free of PGM), or contain a much reduced CRM amount compared to today’s electrolyzers and fuel cells based on proton-conducting polymer-electrolyte membranes.

The CREATE partnership involves partners from both academia and industry who will jointly advance novel catalysts and membranes, test in industrial conditions the most promising materials in hydrogen fuel cells and electrolyzers, and perform cost and life-cycle analysis of the most promising devices.

Project Details

 Start-date  01-01-2017
 Duration  42 months
 Type of action  Research and Innovation – Advanced Materials and Nanotechnologies
 Grant number  H2020 grant N°: 721065