Joris Proost
Recent publications

research activities relates most generally to unraveling thermodynamic, kinetic, structural, electronic and mechanical aspects underlying the reactivity of metals and metal oxides in both gaseous and aqueous environments. Fundamental questions in this respect are being adressed for a number of model systems of direct relevance for energy conversion and electronic applications, as well as in the field of environmental electrochemistry. They can be classified into the following 4 categories : (1) electrochemical synthesis of nanoporous anodic oxides ; (2) reactive sputter deposition of transparent conducting oxides ; (3) interaction of hydrogen with nanocrystalline metallic thin films ; (4) 3-D porous electrodes for electrochemical hydrogen production.

A particular research interest relates to the precise in-situ measurement and control of the internal stress evolution in ultrathin films and multilayers. This has allowed uptil now to provide, for the above-cited model systems, direct and quantitative evidence of mechano-chemical and/or mechano-electrochemical coupling effects in both gaseous (i.e. hydrogen-containing) and aqueous reactive environments.

Research group(s): IMAP

PhD and Post-doc researchers under my supervision:

Quentin de Radiguès de Chennevières

is working in the field of the energy transition. In order to increase the share of renewable energies, new ways of storing electricity have to be developed. Hydrogen has the advantage to be able to store energy over a long time while it can be used as fuel for vehicles. In his Ph.D. thesis on Process Intensification in electrochemical reactors defended in december 2016, he has developed a new technology to reduced the cost of alcaline water electrolysis for hydrogen production. He is now applying this technology on a pilot plant scale.

Grégoire Thunis

Green hydrogen will play a key role in decarbonizing the chemical industry, storing green electricity, or even in the way we heat ourselves. But there is still some way to go to improve the sector's capacities and reduce production costs.

HyFlux is a spin-off project of UCLouvain that aims to enable the large-scale development of green hydrogen. To achieve this, HyFlux significantly increases the productivity of alkaline water electrolysis cell stacks by using innovative patented technology. This increased productivity in turn reduces the CAPEX of electrolysers and therefore ultimately the cost of hydrogen production.

HyFlux's innovative technology is based on the use of three-dimensional electrodes, forced electrolyte flow and pulsed electrical power. The technology, already demonstrated at the lab scale, is being integrated on an industrial scale pilot. This successful integration will be a key milestone in convincing our future customers, electrolyzer manufacturers, to collaborate with us and purchase our electrodes. I am working on the industrialisation of our technology and the successful development of our project.

Renaud Delmelle

My current research revolves around alkaline water eletrolysis, with pulsed electrical power and forced electrolyte flow. Focus is made on the development of 3D electrodes, both on laboratory scale and on pilot plant level. I am notably working on the development of 3D printed Ni electrodes.

Simulation and experimental validation of electrochemical hydrogen production via pulsed water electrolysis on 3D electrodes
Fernando Saraiva Rocha da Silva

In the context of global warming, there is an increasing effort to decarbonize energy systems. With renewable sources such as windmills and solar panels increasing their share in the electric grid, energy storage is a must, since these sources are intrinsically intermittent. Among all the storage solutions, hydrogen production from water electrolysis has proven to be the best one for long-periods and high energy quantities. The principle is that the electricity is used to produce hydrogen and oxygen gases in electrolyzers and when needed, the produced hydrogen can be burned or used on fuel cells to recover electric energy. The main goal of the thesis is to intensify electrolytic hydrogen production by different methods, such as the use of 3-D electrodes, forced electrolytic flow, and pulsed power. Some questions are addressed such as: will the 3-D electrodes increase the performance in comparison with the conventional 2-D electrodes? Can the forced electrolytic flow remove all the gas bubbles trapped in the 3-D structure? To how extent a pulsed power can help the gas bubble removal and improve the performance? What is the best 3-D structure to intensify hydrogen production? To answer these questions, several approaches are proposed. They include electrochemical measurements like cyclic voltammetry, pulsed voltage and pulsed current experiments, and galvanostatic experiments. Additionally, hydrogen gas will be collected to estimate the production rate. All these experiments will be performed with varying 3-D structure, electrolyte temperature, and concentration. Some of the tested electrodes will be designed and produced at UCLouvain. Computational fluid dynamic simulation is also proposed as a way to better understand the electrolytic cell. As a first result, it was seen that current pulses presented a better result than voltage pulses. Furthermore, pulsed power could increase the hydrogen production rate during the time the voltage was on. Nevertheless, when considering the average production rate, including the period the voltage was off, pulsed power had the worst performance. It was observed that pulse frequency was inversely proportional to performance and that decreasing duty cycle could increase efficiency. Furthermore, it was observed that forced electrolytic flow was capable of enhancing the process performance, especially for electrodes with a high surface density (m2/m3).

Recent publications

See complete list of publications

Journal Articles

1. Delvaux, Adeline; Lumbeeck, Gunnar; Idrissi, Hosni; Proost, Joris. Effect of microstructure and internal stress on hydrogen absorption into Ni thin film electrodes during alkaline water electrolysis. In: Electrochimica Acta, Vol. 340, p. 135970 (2020). doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2020.135970.

2. Tuyaerts, Romain; Raskin, Jean-Pierre; Proost, Joris. Opto-electrical properties and internal stress in Al:ZnO thin films deposited by direct current reactive sputtering. In: Thin Solid Films, Vol. 695, no.137760, p. 8 pages (2020). doi:10.1016/j.tsf.2019.137760.

3. Zeng, Xi; Zhukova, Maria; Faniel, Sébastien; Proost, Joris; Flandre, Denis. Structural and Opto‑electronic characterization of CuO thin films prepared by DC reactive magnetron sputtering. In: Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics, Vol. 31, p. 4563-4573 (2020). doi:10.1007/s10854-020-03007-4.

4. Lumbeeck, Gunnar; Delvaux, Adeline; Idrissi, Hosni; Proost, Joris; Schryvers, Dominique. Analysis of internal stress build-up during deposition of nanocrystalline Ni thin films using transmission electron microscopy. In: Thin Solid Films, Vol. 707, p. 138076 (2020). doi:10.1016/j.tsf.2020.138076.

5. Proost, Joris. Critical assessment of the production scale required for fossil parity of green electrolytic hydrogen. In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 45, no. 35, p. 17067-17075 (2020). doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2020.04.259.

6. Dolci, Francesco; Thomas, Denis; Hilliard, Samantha; Guerra, Carlos Fúnez; Hancke, Ragnhild; Ito, Hiroshi; Jegoux, Mathilde; Kreeft, Gijs; Leaver, Jonathan; Newborough, Marcus; Proost, Joris; Robinius, Martin; Weidner, Eveline; Mansilla, Christine; Lucchese, Paul. Incentives and legal barriers for power-to-hydrogen pathways: An international snapshot. In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 44, no.23, p. 11394-11401 (2019). doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2019.03.045.

7. de Radiguès de Chennevières, Quentin; Thunis, Grégoire; Proost, Joris. On the use of 3-D electrodes and pulsed voltage for the process intensification of alkaline water electrolysis. In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 44, p. 29432-29440 (2019).

8. Poulain, Raphaël; Proost, Joris; Klein, Andreas. Sputter Deposition of Transition Metal Oxides on Silicon: Evidencing the Role of Oxygen Bombardment for Fermi‐Level Pinning. In: physica status solidi (a), Vol. 216, no.23, p. 1900730 (2019). doi:10.1002/pssa.201900730.

9. Proost, Joris; Delvaux, Adeline. In-situ monitoring of hydrogen absorption into Ni thin film electrodes during alkaline water electrolysis. In: Electrochimica Acta, Vol. 322, p. 134752 (2019). doi:10.1016/j.electacta.2019.134752.

10. Chehade, Zaher; Mansilla, Christine; Lucchese, Paul; Hilliard, Samantha; Proost, Joris. Review and analysis of demonstration projects on power-to-X pathways in the world. In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 44, no.51, p. 27637-27655 (2019). doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2019.08.260.


1. Proost, Joris; de Radiguès de Chennevières, Quentin; Thunis, Grégoire. System for process intensification of water electrolysis.

2. Proost, Joris; de Radiguès de Chennevières, Quentin; Thunis, Grégoire. Gas evolving electrode for process intensification.

3. Boucher, N.; Clément, Nicolas; Cosijns, Bruno; Lambricht, Thomas; De Maeyer, Barbara; Proost, Joris. Mirror.

4. Proost, Joris; Delmelle, Renaud; Michotte, Sébastien. Device, method and system for improved uptake, storage and release of hydrogen.

5. Proost, Joris; Santoro, Ronny; Soumillion, Patrice; Flandre, Denis; Deschuyteneer, Geneviève. Genetically modified bacteriophage, biosensor containing same, and method of use.

6. Beyer, Gerald; Maex, Karen; Proost, Joris. Method of filling an opening in an insulation layer.

7. Helsen, Jozef; Proost, Joris; Brauns, Etienne. Process for preparing glass and for conditioning the raw materials intended for this glass preparation.

Conference Papers

1. Proost, Joris. Renewables for industry and transport, based on largeand small-scale green hydrogen production. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Innovative Applied Energy (IAPE’19), 2019, 978-1-912532-05-6.

2. Proost, Joris. Critical assessment of the P2H scale required for fossil parity of electrolytic hydrogen.

3. Thunis, Grégoire; de Radiguès de Chennevières, Quentin; Proost, Joris. Intensification of alkaline water electrolysis using 3‐D electrodes, forced electrolyte flow and pulsed voltage.

4. Piret, Nicolas; Santoro, Ronny; Dogot, Loïck; Barthélemy, Bastien; Peyroux, Eugénie; Proost, Joris. Influence of glass composition on the kinetics of glass etching and frosting in concentrated HF solutions.

5. de Radiguès de Chennevières, Quentin; Proost, Joris. On the use of 3-D electrodes and pulsed voltage for the process intensification of alkaline water electrolysis. In: Proceedings of the 2018 International Symposium on Hydrogen Energy and Energy Technologies (HEET 2018), 2018, p. 23.

6. Lucchese, P.; Mansilla, C.; Dolci, F.; Dickinson, R.R.; Funez, C.; Grand-Clément, L.; Hilliard, S.; Proost, Joris; Robinius, M.; Salomon, M.; Samsatli, S.; Tliili, O.. Power-to-Hydrogen and Hydrogento- X : midterm appraisal of the IEA HIA Task 38 accomplishments.

7. Delvaux, Adeline; Lumbeeck, Gunnzt; Idrissi, Hosni; Proost, Joris. Electrochemical hydrogenation of nickel thin film electrodes. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Catalysis for Clean Energy and Sustainable Chemistry (CCESC), 2018, p. 8.

8. Robinius, M.; Linssen, J.; Mansilla, C.; Dolci, F.; Dickinson, R.; Funez, C.; Grand-Clément, L.; Hillard, S.; Proost, Joris; Leaver, J.; Samsatli, S.; Olfa, T.; Valentin, S.; Weidener, E.; Lucchese, P.. Techno-economic Potentials and Market Trends for Power-to-Hydrogen and Hydrogen-to-X based on a Collaborative and International Review. In: Proceedings of the 22nd World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC 2018), 2018, p. Abstract #80.

9. de Radiguès de Chennevières, Quentin; Dalne, Thomas; Proost, Joris. Process intensification of alkaline water electrolysis using forced electrolyte flow through 3D electrodes. In: Proceedings of the European Hydrogen Energy Conference (EHEC-2018), 2018, p. 21.

10. Proost, Joris; Chehade, Z.; Hilliard, S.; Lucchese, P.; Mansilla, C.. Critical assessment of running P2H demo-projects within the framework of the IEA/HIA.

Book Chapters

1. Proost, Joris. Mechanical and Electrostrictive Effects in Anodic Films. In: Encyclopedia of Interfacial Chemistry : Surface Science and Electrochemistry , Elsevier, 2017. 978-0-12-409547-2. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-409547-2.13403-1.

2. Proost, Joris; Maex, Karen; Celis, Jean-Pierre. Current-induced mass transport in metallic films in the near-threshold regime. In: Progress in Transport Phenomena , Elsevier, 2003, p. 509-541.