Anglo American Platinum invests in Hydrogenious Technologies; liquid organic hydrogen carrier technology for H2 storage
04 August 2014
|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
I'd never heard of this, but there is more here:
Posted by: Davemart | 04 August 2014 at 11:45 AM
These all sound like fairly heavy molecules, so unless they bind a considerable amount of hydrogen apiece they're going to be way behind ammonia in the mass-fraction contest.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 04 August 2014 at 04:37 PM
6.6-8.8% H2, apparently, which although less than some ways of storing hydrogen is in the same ball park as using a carbon fibre tank, and may come under the category of 'good enough' depending on how everything else pans out.
Posted by: Davemart | 05 August 2014 at 03:16 AM
Here are some 2011 remarks on efficiency.
They have not got me jumping up and down with excitement:
Just build nuclear reactors already, and most of the need for all this complex engineering goes away as storage issues are a couple of orders of magnitude less than for renewables.
Posted by: Davemart | 05 August 2014 at 03:34 AM
Indeed. So much of this "difficulty" of replacing fossil fuels is due to deliberate choices of difficult pathways. If the FF industries themselves had directed the choices, they could hardly have done a better job... for themselves.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 05 August 2014 at 04:50 AM
What can come across as my 'support' for hydrogen and fuel cells is largely a pragmatic attempt to get SOMETHING that will really work, even expensively and inefficiently relative to nuclear and a mainly electric solution, out of the daft situation we are in.
Of course with their extraordinary unwillingness to confront simple fact the greens innumerately fantasise about using buckets of renewables without lossy storage and hydrogen.
It just can't work, and not having hydrogen in the system simply means fossil fuels for most power with a light and very expensive green dressing.
How convenient the green movement is to the fossil fuel industry!
If they could add up and/or face reality they would not be the enormous help they are to fossil fuel interests everywhere.
Posted by: Davemart | 05 August 2014 at 06:18 AM
Speaking of impractical fantasies, what do you do with all the problems associated with "Just build nuclear reactors"? They are horribly expensive, dangerous and nobody wants their waste in their back yard.
Posted by: John J. McAvoy | 05 August 2014 at 10:45 AM
Strange, John, the residents of Nye County, NV want the nation's spent fuel in their back yard. It's the clown who claims to represent the entire state who has single-handedly blocked their cash cow and stymied the solution to the problem facing the whole nation.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 05 August 2014 at 11:44 AM
Steer clear of any real research, as it might upset your prejudices.
It doesn't ultimately matter to the progress of nuclear, as unhindered by innumerate green lunatics in collusion with the fossil fuel industry and legislation and regulation purpose designed to hamstring nuclear China and South Korea can turn out plants for a third to a half the inflated costs in the west.
All across the world they will be built in great numbers, and the end effect of the eco loons will be simply to economically cripple their own countries, as well of course as to ensure that vast amounts of fossil fuel is emitted as the notion that renewables can do the job without is a lie.
Posted by: Davemart | 05 August 2014 at 12:23 PM
Existing nuclear power plants, with sunk costs, can be *very* inexpensive to run on a $/kWhr basis. I believe Diablo Canyon costs about $0.02/kWhr to run, including fuel and all operational costs.
Capital costs, even for today's over-engineered PWRs, could be much less with increased standardization and a little relief from the legal and regulatory headwinds. Future molten salt reactors, with their inherent passive safety features, have the potential to be much cheaper yet.
Spent fuel storage is a political issue--the quantity of it is actually quite trivial, and there are multiple workable solutions available for those who actually want to solve the problem.
Nuclear safety is on a par with hydro power, even accounting for Chernobyl and Fukushima. Anti-nuclear hysteria is a problem, however.
Expensive solutions to the problem of matching the sporadic supply of renewable power with the electric grid's need to respond to demand are just distractions. Generation is always going to be cheaper, and building cheap, green generation which can match demand is the requirement. The alternative is cheap, plentiful coal, which is what the world is actually building right now.
Posted by: Nick Lyons | 06 August 2014 at 08:39 AM
It's time to use the capability of hydrogen technology on a regular basis.
Posted by: gorr | 06 August 2014 at 09:04 AM
This is very toxic stuff.
H2 has an advantage of being environmentally benign.
Building an infrastructure to continuously move millions of tons of toluene around would be a dangerous game.
I much prefere strong containers with high-pressure H2. This is most probably also much safer in case of spills because it immediately escapes to the stratosphere instead of hanging around waiting for explosive ignition.
Posted by: Alain | 07 August 2014 at 02:38 AM
Most if not all nuclear power plant incidents and accidents were due to downgraded design and/or poor maintenance to reduce initial and operating cost.
Imagine what could happen if bean counters and pro - nuke people were allowed to set their own reduced regulations to increase their profits?
Posted by: HarveyD | 08 August 2014 at 03:27 PM
Even with the "inadequate" pre-TMI safety regulations, nuclear power was much safer than either coal or gas. A half-dozen TMI-level events would have caused zero fatalities, and would have been preferable to the deaths caused by air pollution, car-train collisions, pipeline explosions, and all the other hazards of fossil fuels.
Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 09 August 2014 at 07:10 AM
Tks to good regulations?
Posted by: HarveyD | 12 August 2014 at 02:42 PM