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Linde develops new 500-bar H2 storage technology for more efficient transport in trucks

The Linde Group has developed a new storage technology that will enable a much more efficient transport of larger amounts of hydrogen. The new solution works at a higher pressure of 500 bar (7,250 psi) and uses new, lighter storage materials to more than double the amount of compressed gaseous hydrogen (CGH2) that can be transported in a single truck load.

Successful field tests with the first reference customer have confirmed the clear benefits of the 500-bar technology over conventional 200-bar systems, Linde said.

Our 500-bar technology is another important milestone for hydrogen mobility. It cuts the cost of transporting hydrogen to fueling stations and reduces the amount of space required on site to store the gas.

—Dr. Andreas Opfermann, Head of Clean Energy and Innovation Management at Linde

Linde has opened a 500-bar fueling station at its gases centre in Leuna, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. Linde developed the new 500-bar trailers in collaboration with compressed gas storage specialist Wystrach GmbH. Each trailer features 100 lightweight composite storage elements developed in collaboration with xperion Energy & Environment GmbH.

Trailers today can store around 6,000 cubic meters of hydrogen at 200 bar. With Linde’s new technology, a single trailer can transport more than 1,100 kilograms, or 13,000 normal cubic meters, of hydrogen gas. In addition, the trailers can now be filled and emptied in less than 60 minutes.

This technology gives bulk customers a cost-effective alternative to existing cryogenic transport solutions for liquid hydrogen (LH2).

From now on, Linde also plans to incorporate the new technology into its hydrogen fueling station concepts.

This project is supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. NOW GmbH National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology is in charge of the program coordination.



Progress, although from an earlier stage, seems to be faster than in batteries for fuel cell technology, with little sign of the ultra high energy density which many of us had hoped would be almost ready to enter series production by now.
Barrier after barrier seem to be dropping for fuel cells.

Fingers crossed that we get a lot better batteries soon.


Competition between improved batteries and improved FC will lead to higher performance units. Electrified vehicles will benefit from both technologies.

FCs may be more appropriate than batteries for heavy long range vehicles such as cargo trucks, buses, tractors, locomotives, boats, selected machines etc.

Will future FCs compete with future improved batteries for cars?


Fuel cells and hydrogen can do longer range and heavier loads than batteries, but don't have the performance envelope to tackle long distance heavy haulage.
Hydrogen would have to be upgraded to DME or similar, to give enough energy density for this application.


The figures are revealing, when compared.  One 500-bar trailer carries 1100 kg of H2.  1 kg of H2 is supposed to be comparable to 1 gallon of gasoline, allowing for efficiency differences between engines and fuel cells.  By comparison, a gasoline tanker carries as much as 9,000 gallons of fuel.

To feed vehicles, 8 hydrogen tankers would be required to serve the same demand as 1 gasoline tanker.  That is many times the road traffic and danger to passenger cars.  We'd be better off with methanol than H2, and plug-in hybrids which require no road traffic at all to receive the bulk of their energy.



'Energy content per kilogram of hydrogen is three times larger than for gasoline. However, energy content per volume is low, due to low density of gaseous state.'

Hydrogen runs at around 120-142MJ/kg:

Gasoline is around 120MJ per US gallon:

'gasoline contains about 42.4 MJ/kg (120 MJ/US gal, 11.8 kWh/kg) quoting the lower heating value.'

So a 1100kg tanker would hold the energy equivalent of around 3300 US gallons.

Hopefully they will be able to step up the compression to 750-bar, which would not only enable the tankers to carry more but would avoid the need for further compression on site, as it could fuel a car tank at 700-bar.


Of course I slipped. One hydrogen tanker will hold the energy equivalent of 3300 kgs of gasoline, not 3300 US gallons.

However, the Toyota SUV FCEV does around 68 miles gge, or on 1 kg of hydrogen.
That is around 3 times as much as the petrol version does, so the extra efficiency of the fuel cell needs taking into account.

It would seem that on a miles travelled basis, the hydrogen tanker would provide around a third as much capacity as the petrol tanker.

I don't know though if petrol tankers in Europe are as big as they are in the States, where presumably the 9,000 US gallon figure comes from.


The largest size for petrol tankers in Europe I have been able to find is 23,000 litres:

That is around 6,000 US gallons.

On a miles equivalent basis that compares with around 3,300 for the hydrogen tanker, and it seems unlikely that they have produced the biggest vehicle possible as a first product.

Since hydrogen can also readily be delivered as NG by pipeline and reformed on site transport would not seem to be a major hindrance - unless I have dropped a decimal place!


Making hydrogen at major refueling sites (close to existing NG lines) and compressing it to 700 bar for FC vehicles is a known technology that could/will be improved.

Transporting hydrogen at 700 bar for remote and/or smaller refueling sites will become possible in the near future.

Heavy vehicles could carry enough hydrogen to given equivalent range to current diesel units.

City buses could be used for early application.

Locomotives are aslo an interesting possibility.

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