Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Tecnalia. Inspiring Business

Materials for Energy & Environment


Innovation in materials and their processing is critical to get an energy efficient model and a low carbon economy.

TECNALIA contributes to this innovation through research, studies and testing in

  • Advanced Surfaces and Coatings to: Solve industrial problems as wear, fatigue, aging, corrosion, resistivity,… through the correct selection of materials, development/optimization of coatings and surface treatments processes, characterization of surface properties and the design and industrial scale up of different coating and surface modification techniques, …
  • Ionic Liquids. A more efficient and more ecological alternative for recovery of critical metals from different end of life products (such as electronic wastes, permanent magnets, batteries), slags and scarps; CO2 capture; energy storage (electrolytes); thermal energy treatment (Phase Change Fluids); biomass treatment, among other applications.
  • Materials for Energy Storage: Materials, components and cell prototyping for increasing performance and durability of novel batteries (redox flow, metal-air, Li-S), supercapacitors, fuel cells (PEMFC and SOFC) and electrolizers. Research on novel nanomaterials (including graphene), electrocatalysts, ionic liquids and advanced coatings and their processing to develop optimised cell components (electrode, electrolyte, current collector,…) for each application.
  • Materials for Extreme Conditions: In many systems materials are frequently the limiting factor for pushing energy systems. The path to realizing greater energy efficiency brings extreme conditions (corrosion, high temperatures and pressures, radiation, wear…).
  • Materials for Water Treatment. New solutions based on novel materials for the recovery of valuables from wastewater and for solving existing and forthcoming water pollution problems, both in industrial and urban environments.
  • Membrane Technology for Industrial Gas Separation demands. Aiming at increasing the efficiency, reducing the operating and capital costs as well as physical and environmental footprint in different applications such as, H2 Separation, CO2 Capture, natural gas processing, biogas upgrading, air separation and olefin/paraffin separation.
  • Graphene products for Energy and Environment applications. Graphene’s unique combination of superior properties makes it a credible starting point for new disruptive technologies across a wide range of fields. Its carbonaceous two-dimensional atomic crystal provides properties such as the higher mechanical properties known, lightweight, high flexibility and an outstanding electrically and thermally conductivity. In the Energy and Environment framework TECNALIA is developing graphene-based technologies for water desalination and for energy storage, among others.


  • AQUANAN: Patented photocatalytic reactor for the depletion of organic emergent water pollutants. Aquanan is capable of removing hazardous pollutants such pharmaceuticals, pesticides or hormones which are not conveniently removed by water conventional treatments.
  • CORMON: Remote monitoring system for corrosion of materials, based upon electrochemical techniques which optimizes inspection processes and energy facilities maintenance, especially at offshore platforms where inspections are more complex.
  • Graphene based electrode with metal oxide particles for a capacitive deionization module. Their performance in water desalination is expected to surpass the state of the art efficiency of reverse osmosis in terms of energy consumption.
  • HYPRO: Efficient high purity hydrogen separation membranes. Metallic Palladium-based membranes with outperforming separation properties (selectivity and permeability) as well as thermal and chemical resistance in the range of 300ºC to 600ºC that allow achieving high purity Hydrogen in a single step, minimizing the separation costs.
  • MAGNOLYA: Advanced surface treatment environmentally friendly which protects against corrosion magnesium alloys for automotive and aeronautical applications, among others. An alternative to coatings based on Cr (VI).
  • Corrosion and Corrosion Protection: Analysis, prediction, advice, control, monitoring and protection solutions against corrosion in the industry (energy, transport, aeronautics…). Natural outdoor exposure sites (several atmospheric exposure sites: urban, industrial, and marine) are available for these purposes,
  • Solid Lubricants: Coatings based on MoS2 applied by PVD technology, to be used in mechanisms or components which need a low friction coefficient, where the use of liquid lubricants is not compatible or shows strong disadvantages.
  • Surface hardening by novel active screen plasma nitriding of stainless steels (i.e.: Austenitic, precipitation hardening,..) enhancing surface properties (hardness, wear resistance, fatigue, etc.) without compromising corrosion resistance properties.


  • Modular Electro Mechanical Actuators for ACARE 2020 aircraft and helicopters. ACTUATION 2015
  • Study of soiling effect and glass surface modification of concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) modules: Climate influence and comparative testing. (SUN ON CLEAN)
  • Eco-friendly corrosion protecting coating of aluminium and magnesium alloys (ECOPROT)
  • DLC Based Insulator Coatings for Transmission Systems (InCoTranS). Knowledge and Innovation Communities – Diamond Like Carbon. Thematic Field: Smart Grids and Electric Storage. New insulating materials to increase reliability and energy efficiency
  • Assessment and mitigation of Marine Corrosion in metallic components in Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) devices. (CORMARINET).
  • Integrating European Infrastructure to support science and development of Hydrogen- and Fuel Cell Technologies (H2FC)
  • Energía eólica marina y olas: desarrollo de tecnología y capacitación de Bimep.
  • Cobalt and Lanthanide recovery from batteries. (COLABATS)
  • Process Intensification through Catalytic Membrane Reactors for different applications: Catalitic Membranes Reactors by Developing New Nano-Architectured Catalytic and Selective Membrane Materials (DEMCAMER), Multi-fuel Reformer for Fuel Cell CHP Systems (REforCELL), m-CHP Fuel Cell System based on a novel, Flexible Natural Gas Membrane Reformer for m-CHP Applications (FERRET), Bioethanol Fluidized Bed Membrane reformer (FLUIDCELL).
  • Energy efficient MOF-based Mixed Matrix Membranes for CO2 Capture. (M4CO2)
  • Graphene based capacitive deionization for an energy efficient desalination system (GRAPHESALT), projet involved in the Graphene Flagship.
  • Integrated high temperature electrolysis (HTE) and Ionic Liquid Extraction (ILE) TECH4EU for an independent European Rare Earth Supply Chain. (REE4EU).
  • Iron/air batteries with improved performance by the use of electrodes based in nanomaterials (NECOBAUT)
  • Nano-catalysts for polymeric fuel cells (PEMFC) by sputtering techniques (NANO-CAT).
  • MEthane activation via integrated MEmbrane Reactors. (MEMERE). Novel chemical reactor involving novel, cheap yet more resistant oxygen selective membranes for efficient air separation and distributive oxygen feeding, that integrates different process steps in a single multifunctional unit.


  • Outdoor exposition sites: unique offshore and onshore infrastructures specifically designed to test materials and components in real environment conditions, which allows us to perform a more realistic approach to reality and to complement the results obtained in laboratory accelerated ageing assays. Four exposition sites designed to test probes in atmospheric (both onshore and offshore), splash and immersion zones.
  • Corrosion Laboratory: The Laboratory integrates a wide range of equipment to carry out aging tests and characterization of materials; allowing to identify and to analyze the processes of corrosion, as well as to evaluate the protection systems against it.
  • Erosion testing infrastructures: One relevant erosion infrastructure was designed and constructed by Tecnalia to simulate in a more precise way the erosion processes under harsh conditions. Results obtained with the solid particle impingement erosion devices are subsequently analyzed and contrasted with other materials testing and failure lab scale devices. This complete battery of assays allows our experts to understand a wide array of challenges related to materials and find out new material solutions.
  • Electrochemical Laboratory: includes equipment for manufacturing and testing battery and fuel cell components and systems. Among this equipment we can find: multichannel potentiostat for single cells and small battery systems, test benches to test large battery cells and modules, test station for PEMFC cell and small stack testing, RDE (Rotating Disk Electrode), RRE (Rotating Ring Electrode, several half cells designs, impedance analyzers, etc.
  • Ionic Liquids Laboratory: Facilities for lab to mini-pilot scale synthesis & characterization of ionic liquids include 10L scale reactor, schlenk line, heat on blocks for 5L scale with stirrers, rotary evaporator, pH meter, conductimeter, Karl Fisher, centrifuge, oven, vortex, electrochemical apparatus such as various electrodes, electrochemical cells
  • Membranes Technology laboratory: Equipment for the development and characterization of novel materials for membranes as well as for its processing in tubular form or hollow fiber. This allows a later scaling in a simple way.
  • Surfaces Technology Laboratory: involves equipment for a wide range of surface treatment technologies and environmentally friendly coatings deposition (both wet and dry deposition); together with facilities for scaling surfaces processes and characterization (SEM/EDS, XRD, XPS, AFM, tribological testings, scratch tester, microhardness, profilometers, thickness measuring, adherence, , glossmeters, colorimeters, etc.) and aging (climatic chambers, corrosion test chambers, wear and erosion, …) capable to simulate operation conditions adapted to the requirements of each component.





Pablo Corengia

Dr. Pablo Corengia
Materials for Energy and Environment Area Director

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