Anglo American Platinum invests in Hydrogenious Technologies; liquid organic hydrogen carrier technology for H2 storage
|Concept of hydrogen generation, storage and release using LOHCs. Click to enlarge.|
South Africa-based Anglo American Platinum, the world’s leading primary producer of platinum group metals (PGMs), has invested in the first close of the Series A financing round of Hydrogenious Technologies, a company developing liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) hydrogen storage technology. The round was fully funded by Anglo American.
Hydrogenious Technologies is a spin-off from the University of Erlangen- Nuremberg (Germany), which also holds a stake in the company, and the Bavarian Hydrogen Center. Instead of storing hydrogen either under high pressure of up to 700 bar or in liquid form at –253 °C, Hydrogenious’ technology catalytically binds and releases the hydrogen molecules to liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs). The proposed LOHC compounds have many physico-chemical similarities to diesel. Thus, LOHCs could make use of the existing energy infrastructure (e.g. tank ships, storage tanks or fueling stations) and enable a slow and step-wise replacement of the existing hydrocarbon fuels by alternative LOHC fuels.
During loading and unloading, the LOHC material itself is not consumed but can be reused many times. Important selection parameters for suitable substances are storage density, physical state under ambient conditions, availability, durability and pureness.
Hydrogenious Technologies already provides hydrogenation-ready high-quality LOHC materials customized for the particular application (stationary, mobile, etc.). These products include:
Hydrogenious is developing HydroSTORE, a stationary storage system, to offer solutions to the increasing energy storage needs arising out of further expansion of renewable energy generation. The flexibility to decouple input power, output power and storage capacity would contribute to grid stabilization and grid independence.
The Bavarian Hydrogen Center is hosting a demonstrator system based on the LOHC technology developed at the University of Erlangen. In this system hydrogen is generated via electrolysis by means of surplus renewable energy (for example, from a photovoltaic system) and stored chemically using LOHCs in a conventional fuel tank at ambient conditions. The hydrogen can be released and converted back into electricity in a fuel cell when required.
A storage facility will be built and installed at a residential building in Erlangen during the course of this project. Besides supplying the house with electricity, the heat generated can be used to heat the house. This storage facility is currently under development and is expected to be installed mid-2014.
Earlier this year, Anglo American Platinum announced its commitment of US$100 million over the next five years to support early stage technologies and innovative industrial applications that use or enable the use of platinum group metals. As part of this market development strategy, Hydrogenious will use the new funding to support further development of the HydroSTORE, taking it from prototype to fully commercial product.
Hydrogenious’ technology may be the long awaited solution to efficient, safe and cost- effective hydrogen storage. We believe this could lead to the breakthrough of hydrogen as a mass fueling solution. Our interest in the success of platinum-based fuel cells for stationary and longer-term mobile applications could be well served through this type of hydrogen infrastructure solution.—Andrew Hinkly, Anglo American Platinum’s Executive Head of Marketing
Hydrogenious’ technology was developed and optimized by the founding partners, CEO Daniel Teichmann and the university professors Peter Wasserscheid, Wolfgang Arlt and Eberhard Schlücker together with their research teams at the University of Erlangen–Nuremberg.
|Hydrogenious Technologies and the LOHC concept is being illustrated in this video clip, produced for the Bavarian Founders Awards (Bayerischer Gründerpreis) (in German only). Hydrogenious was awarded the 2014 Bavarian Founders Award this May.|
Fundamental aspects of Hydrogenious’ technology have been developed at the Bavarian Hydrogen Center, a cross-institutional research platform focusing on the development of a sustainable hydrogen economy, and within the framework of the Erlangen Excellence Cluster “Engineering of Advanced Materials”.
Hydrogenious will continue its close research co-operation with the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg.
Anglo American Platinum Limited is a member of the Anglo American plc Group and is the world’s leading primary producer of platinum group metals.
Daniel Teichmann, Wolfgang Arlt, Peter Wasserscheid (2012) “Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers as an efficient vector for the transport and storage of renewable energy,” International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 37, Issue 23, Pages 18118-18132 doi: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2012.08.066
Daniel Teichmann, Wolfgang Arlt, Peter Wasserscheid and Raymond Freymann (2011) “A future energy supply based on Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC),” Energy Environ. Sci. 4, 2767-2773 doi: 10.1039/C1EE01454D