The ELECTROLIFE coffee break with Alessandro Monteverde from Politecnico di Torino

“Hi, and thank you for your interest in the ELECTROLIFE project. I am Alessandro Monteverde, an Associate Professor at Politecnico di Torino in the Department of Applied Science and Technology (DISAT). In the ELECTROLIFE project, my role is to coordinate the consortium and lead several technical work packages.”

What was your original motivation to become a researcher
“My primary motivation to become a researcher stemmed from my interest in technologies ranging from chemical engineering to the broad spectrum of technological applications. Being a researcher allows me to be at the forefront of developing and optimizing technologies to meet end-user needs, considering efficiency, accessibility, cost, and environmental impact. Research is a daily endeavor where knowledge is continually expanded, and the drive to learn propels me to work each day.”

What is your (main) research area today?
“My main research area today is primarily focused on electrochemical devices, including electrolysis, fuel cells, tandem reactors, and intensified reactors. A key aspect of my work involves the electrochemical system components, which significantly impact efficiency, durability, and costs. This specifically means understanding and optimizing the three-phase boundary, assessing performance, and applying AST testing by analyzing the relationship of components to activity and durability. The interdisciplinary nature of these technologies spans multiple fields, including chemical engineering, materials engineering, energy engineering, electrochemistry, industrial chemistry, and chemistry.”

What are the main objectives of your team in ELECTROLIFE?
“The main objective of the ELECTROLIFE project is to understand the cause and effect of degradation mechanisms in electrolyzer devices. This will be achieved by testing five different types of electrolyzers, developing models, designing specific testing protocols, creating “harmonized” testing facilities, and conducting advanced data analysis. My team and I will specifically focus on optimizing and testing AEMEL and PCCEL technologies at both the single cell and stack levels. Additionally, my group will spearhead the AEL, AEMEL and PCCEL modeling efforts, concentrating on degradation mechanisms validated at both the single and stack levels.”

What expertise and facilities does your team have to meet those objectives?
“Our team, comprising the CREST and STEPS groups from POLITO, has extensive experience in material development, electrolysis performance assessment, component optimization, as well as both multiphysics and system modeling. Additionally, the testing facilities at POLITO are equipped to handle evaluations from single cells to stack levels. We utilize state-of-the-art characterization techniques, including XRD, XPS, XRF, FESEM, ICP-MS, AFM, Raman, NMR, XAS, and others. We are confident that this foundation will enable us to achieve the objectives of the ELECTROLIFE project.”

Which aspects of your research at ELECTROLIFE do you find the most innovative and what unique opportunities offer ELECTROLIFE to you and your organisation?
“Being part of ELECTROLIFE is a fantastic opportunity not only for me but also for POLITO. Addressing one of the main bottlenecks of electrolyzer durability is a significant challenge, but it also offers a tremendous opportunity to accelerate Europe’s decarbonization. The most innovative aspect of ELECTROLIFE is its vision to address durability through an organized approach. Each variable affecting durability will be controlled (from component fabrication), tested (with dedicated and homogenized test benches), deeply understood (through models), and monitored (via diagnostics and data analysis). This comprehensive approach will allow us to deconvolute the main degradation mechanisms and develop the next generation of durable and high-performance electrolyzers.”

How do you see the future use and impact of the ELECTROLIFE results?
“I am convinced that the results of ELECTROLIFE will positively impact the entire hydrogen economy. Beginning with academia, the manuscripts and patents resulting from ELECTROLIFE will guide fundamental research towards developing new components with high performance, durability, and minimal environmental impact, ultimately leading to the creation of new startups. At the industrial level, particularly for electrolyzer manufacturers, ELECTROLIFE results will enhance competitiveness, increase profitability, and create new market opportunities by producing long-lasting devices with reduced CAPEX and low electricity consumption, leading to lower OPEX. For end users, the durable devices developed through ELECTROLIFE will enable the use of hydrogen at competitive costs, thereby increasing the demand for electrolyzers and driving down hydrogen prices. The widespread adoption of these new technologies will create new jobs and contribute to the EU’s decarbonization goals.

Project progress


Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the Clean Hydrogen Partnership. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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