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Imaging specialist and specialty chemicals company Agfa-Gevaert in Mortsel (B) has won the essenscia Innovation Award 2022, the most important award for industrial innovation in Belgium. Agfa developed a membrane technology with Zirfon that makes the production of green hydrogen more efficient and cheaper.
Editorial office / Brussels

The thin separation membranes can produce up to four times more hydrogen than conventional membranes, and they have a longer lifespan. The Innovation Award was presented on 18 October by Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid at a ceremony in Brussels, in the presence of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. The other nominees were GSK, Power to Methanol, Quantoom Biosciences and Soudal.

The leading Fraunhofer Institut also stated that Agfa-Gevaert’s Zirfon membrane is the most cost-efficient technology for producing green hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis. Agfa has been working on this innovation since 2006. Both R&D and production are done in-house. The know-how is therefore firmly anchored in our country and builds on the expertise the company has built up over many years in specialty films, casting technology and chemistry.


The innovations of the other finalists are also world firsts and pioneering projects. For example, pharmaceutical company GSK developed the world’s first and, for the time being, only malaria vaccine with Mosquirix. The Power to Methanol consortium works in the port of Antwerp on a more sustainable production process for methanol based on hydrogen and captured CO2. Walloon start-up Quantoom Biosciences, a subsidiary of biotech company Univercells, designed an automated production platform for vaccines and therapeutics based on mRNA technology, known from corona vaccines. Soudal developed a sustainable assembly adhesive based on recycled raw materials with the same performance and price as its classic variant. Both the adhesive and the packaging consist of 80% recycled raw materials, 35% of which are of bio-based origin.

Read more on essenscia’s website.

Image: essenscia