Optimising water consumption in renewable hydrogen production

Implementation period

May 2023 – April 2024

Field of work

Digital technology
Resilient infrastructures


Project funded by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Government of Spain and the European Union – Next Generation EU. Call for grants to support AEIs for the year 2023, within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.
File number: AEI-010500-2023-61


Renewable hydrogen generation has become one of the main pillars of Spain’s economic development, as it is one of the main producers of renewable energies with a high export capacity.

For this, in addition to the installation of sufficient renewable power, a large amount of water is required, the raw material from the decomposition of which renewable hydrogen is obtained. This is why the availability and treatment of water is a key aspect for the location and development of electrolysis plants, for which there is a government target of installing 4 GW of power for the country by 2030.

The aim is now to analyse water sources other than drinking water for hydrogen generation, in order to avoid competition with priority human and agricultural uses, by studying the use of waste and process water, with analysis of treatment requirements and their possible effect on the electrolyser and hydrogen quality, for large-scale production of green hydrogen.


The main objective of the project is to carry out a detailed research study to increase knowledge about the specific needs of water as a raw material for electrolysis plants and to demonstrate the feasibility of developing a novel system (intelligent, digitalised, low-cost and open) that allows, as a main point and with the use of new 4.0 technologies, to predict, through mathematical models and modelling of treatment processes, the optimisation and minimisation of water requirements in the processes of hydrogen production from renewable energies.


-Have an up-to-date knowledge of the equipment available to produce hydrogen from renewable sources as well as a comprehensive database on waste and process water streams that can be used for hydrogen production, which will facilitate the digitisation of electrolysis processes and the automation of decision making.
-Develop software to automate decision-making in the use of water in electrolysis, which will provide an important competitive advantage in the planning, design, and operation of plants for the production of hydrogen from renewable energies. It will make it possible to locate plants in optimal sites, reduce water treatment costs and water footprint, minimise waste generation and replace fossil fuels with renewables, the main environmental pillars of the Industry 4.0 revolution.