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Passion for science – building a huge factory in Denmark

After HydrogenPro acquired Advanced Surface Plating (ASP) in December 2020, Lars Pleth Nielsen has led the work of developing the company’s electrode plating in Aarhus, Denmark. Pleth Nielsen was a part-owner and key person behind ASP, and he has always been interested in science, and hydrogen in particular.

“As a child, I made my first hydrogen by electrolysis of saltwater at the age of 10. I collected hydrogen and oxygen in a large plastic bag for several days before finally setting it on fire, creating a huge and very noisy explosion. My parents confiscated my power supply for weeks due to this”, Pleth Nielsen recalls, smiling.

The incident did not stop Pleth Nielsen’s passion for science, and he continued with his experiments during his childhood.

“I went into electroplating with copper plating of coins. Looking back, I’m amazed that a child was able to buy copper sulfate from the local pharmacy. Nowadays, it is basically impossible to buy anything before signing and registering everything in environmental databases,” says Pleth Nielsen.

Plans started ten years ago

The design of the factory in Denmark was finalised at the beginning of 2021, while the installation was initiated as HydrogenPro took over the 1,600 m2 factory facilities during the summer of 2021.

“We have a fully operational platting line with an estimated capacity of 16,000 m2 electrodes per year, corresponding to 50-100MW depending on the current density. Together with HydrogenPro’s newly developed 5.5MW modelled electrolysis units, these electrodes will create what we believe will be the most competitive alkaline electrolysis platform when it comes to performance, price, and durability,”, says Pleth Nielsen.

The process of developing the factory started more than ten years ago, according to Pleth Nielsen. It all began with fundamental R&D, and it accelerated through projects together with HydrogenPro.

“Since then, new ideas and alternative solutions have evolved. We have been looking for different ways to boost the activity, either through new R&D projects or involving investors. After HydrogenPro was introduced on the Oslo stock market, it was natural for us to join forces and grow the activity together with HydrogenPro”, he says.

“The timing is perfect”

Pleth Nielsen believes the future for the electrolysis industry is bright. HydrogenPro plans to expand the factory within three years, and the company intends to build a larger R&D unit dealing with various aspects of green energy.

Lars Pleth Nielsen bibliography

PhD in physics, surface science and materials from Aarhus University, Denmark.

HDO in economic, management and innovation from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.

  • 40 granted R&D projects
  • 60 scientific articles
  • Educated more than 50 master & PhD students
  • Several patents

The author of several books:

  • The 2-volume book: “Advanced Surface Technology – a holistic view on the extensive and intertwined world of applied surface technology”, which according to national association of surface finishing (NASF – USA) is the most comprehended work written the past 40 years.
  • “Introduktion til overfladebehandling af aluminium – Teori og Praksis”.
  • “Overfladebehandling af rustfrit stål – Korrosion og Rengørlighed”.
  • In 2022 we will finalize our corrosion book: ”Corrosion – Theory and Practice”.