Björn Savén's donation to Aalto University makes a significant contribution to hydrogen research
Future energy systems will need liquid and gaseous energy reserves to balance fluctuations in energy production and consumption, both seasonally and at shorter intervals. New solutions to ensure energy security are also needed.
Renewable energy can be stored in hydrogen, and hydrogen can directly be used as a fuel in fuel cells and future engines.
‘There are challenges in large-scale storage of hydrogen that can be avoided by converting hydrogen into liquid methanol. Long-distance, high-efficiency means of traffic, such as heavy-duty vehicles and ships could use renewable methanol directly as fuel’, says Professor Martti Larmi.
‘With a donation from Björn Savén, we study the production of methanol from hydrogen and the conversion of methanol back into electricity or kinetic energy in an energy and cost-effective way. With the help of the donation, we will also have the opportunity to experimentally demonstrate the production and conversion of methanol into energy’, says Assistant Professor Annukka Santasalo-Aarnio.
‘I am personally very committed to supporting new methods of combating climate change. Hydrogen related fuels offer a very interesting path to emission free energy usage, in particular in transports, on road, on rail and on the sea’, says Björn Savén. ’As an industrialist, I understand the formidable task ahead of us, when developing a theoretically perfect solution into practical, efficient and affordable everyday use. This is why I greatly appreciate the work done by the Aalto team in their endeavour to produce practical good for mankind.’
‘I want to express my warmest thanks to Björn Savén for his long-term and significant support to Aalto University and its students. The ability to utilize hydrogen cost-effectively in the storage of renewable energy will be very important for both energy business and sustainable development,’ says Ilkka Niemelä, President of Aalto University.
Björn Savén is the founder and long-term Chairman of Industri Kapital (now IK Investment Partners). Since its foundation in 1989, its funds have raised around € 13 billion of capital, mainly invested in SMEs in the Nordic countries, Benelux, France, England and German-speaking Europe. Among its major investments in Finland has been Konecranes, which has become one of the world's leading companies in its field.
Savén is one of the donors to Aalto University's founding campaign and has also supported university’s students with scholarships. The annual Björn Savén Scholarship enables Finnish master’s students to pursue postgraduate studies at the best universities in the United States.