Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies GmbH has developed a technology that binds hydrogen gas with a carrier oil. (Earlier post.)This achievement led to the company being nominated for a 2021 German Entrepreneurial Award (Deutscher Gründerpreis).
Hydrogenious’ LOHC technology bonds hydrogen molecules to the organic carrier (dibenzyltoluene) via an exothermic catalytic process. The uptake is 57 kg of H2 per cubic meter LOHC. The LOHC remains in a liquid state across a broad temperature range and ambient pressure. It is thus transportable using conventional fuel infrastructure.
Dehydrogenation—the release of the H2 from the carrier—is an endothermic process with about 11 kWhth/kgH2required at 300 ˚C.
Porsche Consulting will be supporting Hydrogenious’s efforts to further scale up its activities.
One challenge for the adoption of green hydrogen as an element of a clean energy strategy is how to make sufficient quantities of green hydrogen available in economically viable ways. A key role is therefore played by imports from regions such as Spain, the Middle East, Africa, and Australia. However, storage and transport of this volatile gas have thus far proved difficult. The Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies company, based in the northern Bavarian city of Erlangen, offers a solution: a process it has developed by which green hydrogen is bound to an organic carrier—an oil. The gas thus can be stored and transported under ambient conditions. It is then released and the oil is reused for the next load.
The high storage density of the LOHC process enables it to handle five times as much hydrogen as compression processes.
Plans for a hydrogen release plant: 1.5 tons of hydrogen can be made available every day—at industrial sites or fueling stations. The system should be ready in 2024. Credit: Hydrogenious
Dr. Andreas Lehmann, the company’s head of strategy, notes that the company can use all the infrastructure instruments that already exist for conventional fuels like diesel, including oil tankers, pumps, and tanker trucks. Moreover, the oil is exceedingly stable and secure because it can be handled and stored under normal conditions. It is not explosive or volatile, and emits no toxic corrosive vapors such as ammonia.
The process is currently being tested at multiple demonstration facilities. The largest is planned for CHEMPARK in the town of Dormagen, with an anticipated storage capacity of five tons a day.
In July of this year the company, which now holds 45 patents and employs 125 people, entered a joint venture with the Scandinavian shipping enterprise Johannes Østensjø dy AS. The Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime AS joint subsidiary is expected to develop and market an innovative emission-free LOHC-based application for the shipping sector. The first freighter equipped with the novel technology “developed in Erlangen” could set off as early as 2024.
Hydrogenious is testing this small hydrogen release plant at its headquarters. It fits in a container and will be used in a pilot project at an Erlangen gas station. Credit: Hydrogenious