Finding innovative and sustainable solutions to societal problems is a major goal for ICIQ researchers. Now, Dr. Felipe Garcés, a postdoctoral researcher in the Galán-Mascarós group, and Khalid Azmani, a PhD student from the URV whose thesis is being co-directed by Prof. Galán-Mascarós, have joined the Collider OnCampus programme with the HyCloPho project.
The HyCloPho envisions the creation of a multi-purpose device that will produce clean water and valuable chemicals through an electrochemical process fuelled with solar power. “Our idea is to create a compact, reliable and economic seawater hydrolyser that will tackle two problems at once: energy demand and water purification,” explains Garcés.
Taking advantage of the seawater composition, the hydrolyser will generate high-value chemicals as Hydrogen, Oxygen and Chlorine, in gaseous phase while at the same time obtaining hypochlorite, brine and desalinated water. The team’s strategy is focused on taking advantage of water splitting and electrodialysis by using abundant, cheap and non-critical raw materials like iron, cobalt and carbon to perform the catalytic transformations.
OnCampus is a seven-week online entrepreneurship programme for researchers and university students based on the Lean Launchpad methodology. The programme’s method helps to assess the viability of the commercialization of new technologies through building entrepreneurial ventures. The teams are formed by up to four people from any Catalan research institution (universities, research or technological centres) with a technological or research project in early development stages (TRL 1-3) linked to a research group.
Based on the Lean LaunchPad methodology, the Collider OnCampus initiative creates ventures with participants so that they can evaluate the feasibility of commercialising their new technologies. For seven weeks, teams conduct weekly interviews with companies and industry experts to determine the advantages and disadvantages of their innovations in terms of market needs. The projects are periodically reviewed by specialists, and their evolution is guided by a mentor with professional experience in the sector.