State-of-the-art H2 research infrastructure

Efficient and safe hydrogen transition requires comprehensive material and process development covering the entire value chain. Materials and processes need to be validated in the laboratory before implementation. This requires research infrastructures from basic research to piloting. The project develops a regionally and nationally unique, significant, and open hydrogen research infrastructure.


Project information

Project duration


Funded by

European Structural Funds - Just Transition Fund (JTF)

Project funder

City of Oulu

Funding amount

1 985 000 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Contact person

Project description

The green transition is leading to a technological revolution in multiple sectors. The hydrogen economy is expected to play a crucial role in this transition, especially in Northern Ostrobothnia, where the potential for renewable energy production is high and renewable energy can be used to produce renewable hydrogen. Hydrogen, in turn, can be utilized in the region's industry as well as part of fossil-free heavy transport and energy solutions for buildings.

An efficient and safe transition requires not only the technology itself but also the development of materials and processes from hydrogen production to its storage and distribution, as well as end-use. Materials and applications and processes need to be characterized and validated in the laboratory before deployment. For this purpose, extensive research infrastructure is needed, covering needs from basic research to the piloting of hydrogen technologies.

In this investment project, a regionally and nationally unique, significant, and open research and development infrastructure hub is being developed, which will benefit actors in all areas of the project as well as outside the project (the equipment can be used openly also outside of hydrogen research).

The research infrastructure and test equipment will enable the study, characterization, and validation of materials in realistic process conditions, increasing the interest and use of local business operators and accelerating companies' R&D activities.

The project will acquire test equipment and material characterization infrastructure for hydrogen-material interactions, hydrogen production, hydrogen and energy storage, and the validation of materials and technologies (TRL 3-9). The aim of the project is to enable high-level hydrogen research and hydrogen technology-related education at the University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences, and to support companies, especially SMEs, in accessing state-of-the-art research infrastructure.

Project actions

The project will be implemented with the following equipment acquisitions:

  1. CCU- & P2X research equipment

Flow reactor system and analyzers for CCU (Carbon Capture and Utilization), P2X (Power-to-X), and materials research, as well as the utilization and conversion of renewable hydrogen and carbon dioxide into products (development of P2X technologies).

  1. Hydrogen separation and purification equipment

PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) or TSA (Temperature Swing Adsorption) type adsorption equipment for the purification of gas streams containing small molecules, followed by membrane separation equipment.

  1. TDS-MS equipment

Equipment for analyzing gases released from solid substances.

  1. Hydrogen charging and corrosion research equipment

Hydrogen charging and corrosion research equipment combined with mechanical loading of the sample.

  1. Solar hydrogen test reactor and hydrogen as part of the energy system

The multi-energy system of the hybrid laboratory at the University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences will be supplemented with equipment for hydrogen production (electrolyzer), storage, and use (fuel cell). The project will also develop a pilot reactor for solar hydrogen based on direct photocatalysis suitable for the hybrid laboratory.

  1. TGA-DTA equipment for hydrogen research

Simultaneous measurement of material mass change and temperature differences, e.g., in reduction studies.

  1. Optical dilatometer for hydrogen research

Non-contact measuring device for studying the softening, melting, and corrosion of materials at high temperatures and in a hydrogen atmosphere. Non-contact optical measurement of material expansion.

  1. Hydrogen adsorption equipment acquisition

Equipment that enables research on the storage of hydrogen in solid materials.

  1. Complementing the sample environment setup of the new APXPS equipment

The sample environment setup of the high-pressure photoelectron spectroscopy equipment funded by the Research Council of Finland FIRI2022 call for the Hub for Hydrogen-Materials Interactions Research Infrastructures will be complemented with equipment for studying electrochemical reactions.

  1. Automatic catalyst characterization device system

Equipment for determining the reduction behavior of catalysts, degree of reduction, surface acidity/basicity, and active surface sites.