Sustainable Hydrogen - Potential for Bothnia Gulf Cluster

Project is focusing on the development of hydrogen economy in Bothnia Gulf area, by developing energy-efficient and CO2-free hydrogen production technologies, by studying sustainable hydrogen use and storage, and especially improving the hydrogen value chain by offering a holistic overview by system analysis. Project is a joint action between University of Oulu and Luleå University of Technology.

Project information

Project duration


Funded by

European Structural and Investment Funds - INTERREG

Funding amount

999 836 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Contact person

Project description

Hydrogen economy is seen as one of the most promising solutions towards a sustainable energy supply. It has become the key technology of the energy transition with an enormous strategic importance for Europe. Hydrogen is also a critical factor in the development of the industrial cluster in the Bothnia Bay region to maintain competitive and sustainable activities. A sustainable H2 economy would enable significant business opportunities and a large reduction in carbon emissions in the program region.

The Sustainable Hydrogen project focuses on complete sustainable hydrogen value chains from H2 production to its storage and industrial use. New long-term technical solutions are developed for renewable hydrogen production by photocatalysis and methane pyrolysis. The project focuses also on biomass gasification and process integration for enabling the production of hydrogen-rich syngas. Sustainable Hydrogen cooperates with local industries for replacing fossil reducers and fuels with renewable hydrogen.

System analysis tools are used for giving a holistic knowledge on how a long-term robust and sustainable H2 energy ecosystem can be developed around the Bothnia Bay. The project fosters knowledge transfer and information sharing between the stakeholders in ecosystem events, press releases and scientific publications. Overall, the expertise of the project group and stakeholders enables to strengthen the role of the program region in H2 economy and helps to achieve the EU sustainability targets by 2030 and 2050.


The project proposes new technological long-term solutions for sustainable hydrogen production, use and storage. The expected main results are CO2-neutral or even CO2-negative and energy-efficient hydrogen production methods, and sustainable solutions for H2 use and storage. System analysis enables valuable outcomes on holistic knowledge on hydrogen energy system in the region. Project also facilitates new knowledge transfer between the stakeholders by arranging public seminars and sharing information in means of scientific publications, news, and press releases. Overall, the expertise of project group and stakeholders enables to strengthen the role of region in H2 economy and improves to achieve the EU sustainability targets by 2030 and 2050.

Project implementation

The work of the project is divided in five WPs as follows:

WP1: Coordination and management
Lead; UOulu, Irja Ruokamo/Prem Seelam

WP1 covers general management of project, including project administration issues, such as arrangement of project meetings, coordination of stakeholder collaboration, reporting of project activities and financial management of project.

WP2: Sustainable hydrogen production
Lead; UOulu, Ulla Lassi

WP2 is focusing on the development of sustainable hydrogen production using photocatalysis in water splitting, methane pyrolysis (hydrogen production from biogas) and biomass gasification to syngas. The key idea behind this WP is the energy-efficient and CO2 free technologies for hydrogen production, in order to fulfill the criteria of green transition in the EU level.

WP3: Sustainable hydrogen use and storage
Lead; UOulu, Mohammed Ali

WP3 promotes the development of emerging hydrogen-based industrial processes for reduction of iron oxides and facilitate an expeditious increase in the hydrogen content of blast furnaces, thus enabling a faster measure for decreasing the CO2 emissions during the transition from conventional to novel ironmaking technologies. Further, the idea of WP3 is to enable achieving the envisioned change towards fossil-free society, thus strengthening the metallurgical know-how of steels. The target is to focus on the use of ultrahigh-strength steels in hydrogen society like storage, transportation, and distribution of H2. It is noteworthy that the H2-based business is new and on the development phase. Overall, the aim is to increase understanding the phenomenon of hydrogen embrittlement (HE) and hydrogen assisted or induced cracking (HAC/HIC) causes loss all mechanical and chemical properties in steels (metals) and their applications.

WP4: Systems analysis
Lead; LTU, Joakim Lundgren

WP4 puts a holistic perspective on research activities carried in WP2 and WP3 with a strong emphasis on techno-economic assessments. The aim is to better understand the techno-economic opportunities and challenges for commercialization and identify possible needs of further research and development. The economic assessments will be based on traditional investment and cost analysis from a business perspective. The technical evaluations include calculation of system- and energy efficiencies and other important technical key performance indicators. Conceptual comparisons with water electrolysis for hydrogen production are carried out. Technical and cost data will be provided by the project and associate partners or taken from the open literature.

WP5: Dissemination of project results (UOulu and LTU)

WP5 involves joint activities of partners and focus on dissemination, exploitation related tasks. We aim at several joint publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. We will also write a joint project report at the end of project.

Project poster

The Sustainable Hydrogen project contributes primarily to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 (Affordable and clean energy), 9 (Industry, innovation and infrastructure) and 12 (Responsible consumption and production).

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