BEST4Hy Closes the loop – final event and achievements on the End-of-life hydrogen fuel cells recycling project




BEST4Hy Closes the loop – final event and achievements on the End-of-life hydrogen fuel cells recycling project.


BEST4Hy Consortium meets for its last General Assembly (GA) and Final Event. Two-day meeting with full agenda and partners at work in the GA and in a workshop for the presentation of the results achieved after three years of project. BEST4Hy – SustainaBlE SoluTions FOR recycling of end-of-life Hydrogen technologies – a research project  funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under Grant Agreement No 101007216, developed low-environmental-impact technologies for the recovery and recycling of materials vital to the hydrogen supply chain. Achievements have been showed in this final event, organised by Hensel Recycling and IDO-Lab at their premises in Aschaffenburg and Karlstein am Main (Germany) with the support of project coordinator Environment Park.


Representatives from the hydrogen sector, as well as recycling and metal industries at European level have been invited to attend to the event and the public workshop held on December 13th morning. Some of them, Toyota Europe Motor, Solvay, Hensel Recycling North America, Hellas CERTH, JRC and Enabled Future Limited company, followed and supported BEST4Hy project since its beginning as Advisory Board members. The project also collaborated with IMDEA Energy, coordinator of eGHOST and SH2E EU projects, with whom BEST4Hy Consortium established a strict collaboration for the common research on hydrogen technologies’ sustainability over their life cycle.


During the workshop, challenges and achievements of BEST4Hy project have been presented to the public. The presentation was organised in an interactive way with open discussion finalised to receive feedbacks, exchange experiences and ideas with the attendees to move forward the sustainability of the hydrogen technologies and understand the current needs of the hydrogen sector with respect to recycling of end-of-life devices and use of recovered materials.


Overall, BEST4Hy final event has proven a fruitful moment of knowledge exchange on the sustainability of hydrogen technologies. Discussion with the attendees revealed high industrial interest to the topics of recycling and materials recovery from hydrogen technologies. Besides BEST4Hy’s fuel cells targets, the need to extend the research to other hydrogen devices, such as electrolysers and ion exchange membrane fuel cells, has been also highlighted. Nowadays, sustainability represents a relevant aspect for any products, for which industries are called to answer. During BEST4Hy, research has made progress on the recovery and recycling of materials from end-of-life hydrogen technologies reaching achievements that represent a first important step and contribution to the research. However, further research support is required to continue the development of the technologies and approaches and overcome the challenges for their deployment.


Ilaria Schiavi, Project Manager at Environment Park and BEST4Hy coordinator states:


During these last three years, BEST4Hy consortium has worked tirelessly to achieve and even go beyond the project targets, demonstrating successfully how important materials can be recovered from EoL fuel cells and how they can be directed both to close loop recycling (remanufacture of cells) and open loop recycling (other value chains, including batteries).


“Important progress with respect to the state of the art has been achieved, from novel approaches to the dismantling and disassembly of fuel cells, to low environmental impact processes for the recovery of platinum, ionomer and rare earth elements/critical raw materials beside PGMs. Significant progress has been made also in the modelling of the EoL strategies under a life cycle approach. The project has resulted in two patent applications and a number of publications and participations to high level conferences, while the experience gained by the companies participating in BEST4Hy is opening up interesting business opportunities. We believe that BEST4Hy represents an important step towards devising a sustainable hydrogen supply chain but we are aware that there is still much work to be done”. 



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