In recent years, the carbon footprint in the atmosphere is rapidly increasing, with the current carbon concentration to exceed 420 ppm. Global efforts are currently focusing on the exemption from carbon emissions to achieve the EU 2050 target for zero emissions. The exploitation of hydrogen can be a viable option for carbon discharge in various areas, such as transport, energy, processing, homes and commercial sector.

The Municipality of Trikala, which is pioneering on Green Energy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Patras and the research team of InnoEnergy lab, aiming at taking advantage of the hydrogen technologies and systems by turning the city of Trikala into a more climatic neutral city, according to European standards. The Scientific responsible of this MOU is Professor Sofoklis Makridis, an Academic Entrepreneur who is a hydrogen expert.

With his well-trained team they wish to transform the well-known Greek municipality and to achieve the reduction of carbon emissions in the city by also protecting the environment. One more important direction is to create the entrepreneurial environment and to give to undergraduate students and scientists the opportunity to innovate and implement their knowledge in practice.

The city of Trikala

According to the MoU, the innovative actions of hydrogen technologies that could be applied to the city include the installation of an integrated hydrogen power generation system to be fed by low-power solar panels to an area designated by the Municipal Authority. The priority of the Municipality is the use of green hydrogen and renewable energy sources to ensure the city’s climate neutrality, which is of most importance, considering the environment conditions.

That is the reason why projects are to be planned, concerning the installation of a charging system of electric vehicles using hydrogen as well as the purchase of hydrogen bicycles or other useful mobile systems. In addition, it is planned to establish a system of thermal decomposition of the wastes in order to produce biogas and hydrogen. The produced hydrogen can be used in various ways, for example in fuel cells, which can produce electricity to be used for electrification and heating the buildings. Furthermore, Prof. Makridis suggested applying micro-generators at the bottom of the river crossing the city and exploiting the generated electrical power for water electrolysis to the production of green hydrogen and high purity oxygen.

Furthermore, the Municipality of Trikala is about to consider to use an autonomous hydrogen system for charging an electric bus, which will commute citizens and students, without harming the environment.

As far as the students and scientists are concerned, the municipality has agreed to establish an office for internships and research programs for Green Development. This action will allow the co-operation of Municipality and the University of Patras on academic programs, the development of joint research activities, as well as, the doctoral student training and development.

Additionally, university staff exchanges or mutual visits to both institutions will be facilitated. The exchange of information, including the results of teaching and research collaboration, is considered to be of paramount importance by both parties, i.e. Community-Academy collaborators. It will create a better future for young scientists. The terms of the agreement include cooperation between the InnoEnergy Laboratory Research Group of the Department of Environmental Engineering and other workshops in the Educational Institute, aiming at the development of joint research activities, the transfer of know-how, but also to submit funding development programs at local and European level.