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Vopak and Hydrogenious to form JV for hydrogen storage, transport and supply using liquid organic hydrogen carrier

Vopak and Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies will incorporate an equal shared joint venture, named LOHC Logistix, for hydrogen storage, transport and supply based on Hydrogenious’ Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology. (Earlier post.) This is one of the major steps both companies have agreed on recently to push LOHC market solutions and large-scale pilot projects forward.

Hydrogenious uses the thermal oil benzyl toluene as its liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC-BT; benzyl toluene is already well-established in the industry as a heat transfer medium and has ideal properties for safe handling in ports.

Due to its characteristics as a flame retardant and non-explosive carrier with a high volumetric energy density, benzyl toluene can be handled like a fossil liquid fuel within existing infrastructure, tankers and vehicles at ambient pressure and temperature, making it a natural fit with current port infrastructure and fleet of vessels, railcars, and tank trucks. After the release of hydrogen (dehydrogenation), the LOHC can be reused to bind hydrogen many hundreds of times.


Left: Hydrogentation. The hydrogen molecules are chemically bound to the LOHC via a catalytic reaction in a continuous process. The hydrogenation is an exothermic process generating approx. 10 kWhth/kgH2, heat at approx. 250 °C.
Center: Hydrogen transportation in the LOHC offers easy and cost-efficient logistics utilizing the existing infrastructure for fossil fuels via ship, barge, train or truck. Same applies to LOHC stocking facilities.
Right: Dehydrogenation. The hydrogen molecules are chemically released from the LOHC via a catalytic reaction in a continuous process. The dehydrogenation is an endothermic process that requires approx. 11 kWhth/kgH2, heat at approx. 300 °C. The hydrogen can be released on demand, assuring hydrogen purity according to ISO-14687.

Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies has sold pilot-scale LOHC systems to partners in several countries including Finland, Germany and the US and has implemented the first full LOHC supply chain for hydrogen mobility this summer. Hydrogenious supplies the Hydrogen Refueling Station Erlangen in Germany via LOHC—a worldwide novelty.


LOHC Storage Plant Rendering © Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies

The joint venture LOHC Logistix GmbH located in Germany will support both parties to facilitate their efforts to supply green hydrogen to off-takers, using LOHC based transportation via ship, train, tanker, etc. The incorporation of the joint venture is subject to customary closing conditions. For transportation and supply, it will purchase hydrogenation as well as dehydrogenation services from/at the respective LOHC plant operating companies and organize transport.

Moreover, the two partners committed to accelerate the establishment of the LOHC storage plant planned at Chempark Dormagen (Germany/North-Rhine Westphalia) as well as a release plant in Rotterdam with a release capacity of 1.5 tonnes of hydrogen per day. The intention of both parties is to accelerate the scale-up.

Vopak became involved as a strategic investor in Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies in 2019 with a shareholding of around 10%. The new announcement is connected with Hydrogenious’ as well as Vopak’s first equal investment in the new joint venture and a convertible loan by Vopak to Hydrogenious which can be converted into an equity stake following future funding rounds by Hydrogenious in the upcoming years.



OK, so you can store 57 kg of H2 in ~ 1.03 tons of dibenzyltoluene, so ~ 5.7% h2 by weight in a liquid carrier.

This will require 570 kwh heat to get the H2 back out of it, and you re left with the dibenzyltoluene to recycle in a closed system.

Anyone care to calculate how much you would need to drive a fuel cell car 500km?
Or how it compares to Nh3 ?


Hi Jim

They reckon here that it boils down to a round trip efficiency of 43%:

That ain't great. but is comparable to what we have traditionally been doing, successfully from a commercial etc POV with fossil fuels for a couple of hundred years, but without the emissions.

As for range, the Nexo gets just under 100km per kg of hydrogen:

Personally I don't much fancy LOHC, and reckon that most green hydrogen will be shipped as ammonia, where there are established transport chains, in spite of some concerns regarding toxity.

Converted LNG tankers can do a lot of the job then, and conversion is way cheaper than new build.

Here is an enterprise planning to use wind power in Greenland, turn it into ammonia on board a converted ship, then tranport it to the point of use by sea:


The three major constituent parts of a BEV are:
a) battery
b) e-motor
c) inverter.

Regressing to the Parthian Galvanic Cells of ancient Egypt over 2500 years ago, it can be safely stated that more progress has been achieved in the development of cells in the last thirty years than in the accumulated centuries before. Compared with modern cells, the Parthian Cell was of primitive conception, structure, and extremely inefficient. Irrelevant of the present accomplishments and SOA, there is still vast potential for the improvement of such cells. R&D has pointed out the roadmap to be followed for achieving this vast potential; worldwide competition is speeding this progress up. The first to achieve this goal will be rewarded for their efforts. The most important attributes of future cells are: three to five times more energy density, substantial increase in power density enabling faster charging, lower weight, and lower prices in comparison to cells of SOA.

The most commonly implemented e-motor is the radial flux type (RFM). The magnetic flux is oriented perpendicular to the axis of rotation. The axial flux type's (AFM) magnetic flux is oriented parallel to the axis of rotation. Magnetic leakage of the AFM is less than that of a RFM subequently making it more efficient. The torque of an AFM can easily be increased by increasing the radius of the location of the magnets from the center of the rotating axis. The simple formula for determining the torque is T=FxR (T=torque, F=magnetic force, R=radius).

One of the leading manufacturers of AFMs is YASA. This company has been wholly purchased from Mercedes but remains independent in its management, R&D, and production policies.

Renault has taken a 21% stake in Wylot, a french enterprise, also engaged mainly in R&D and manufacture of AFMs. Apparently, Mercedes and Renault seem to be the only automobile manufacturers that have become aware of the opportunities by employing this motor type in their production profiles. It is not only that an AFM offers higher efficiency, additionally, a simple increase in torque can eliminate a reduction transmission lowering system complexity, cost and weight.

Judging accordingly to the available information, it seems that Wylot has mirrored the rotor / stator arrangement and allows the conclusion that this demonstrates an improved solution compared to the original YASA configuration.

Presently, many semi-conductor devices implemented in inverters are made of silicon-carbide and have contributed to an overall inverter efficiency better than 99%. There is a tendency to replace silicon-carbide with Graphene semi-conductor devices. These would lower heat losses in an inverter to a negligible level and result in an efficiency close to 100%.

It can be assumed, that once all improvements presently in the pipeline have been employed in production, H2 technology will have as much a chance in future personal mobility as ICEs or a snowball in hell.



You are apparently unaware that fuel cell vehicles use electric motors too, and any increase in efficiency will help them equally.

The issue is storing large amounts of energy, not the electric motors.


@yoatmon is correct as far as H2 for “personal mobility”. Green H2 is more expensive than current forms and as @Davemart points out does not offer much better efficiency than current combustion technology.

However, there are at least two Mobility Areas that H2 might make sense if zero carbon is required: Rail and Maritime, and LOHC could work.

Rail could use LOHC (even Fuel Cells), though an H2 Combustion Engine with Waste Heat Recovery (WHR) to Dehydrogenate the LOHC may be more economical. This should be pursued where Rail Electrification is not feasible.

Maritime may be the best use of LOHC. Marine diesels are very efficient and WHR would work well here also.

Here are a couple of references if you would like to go deeper.
“Siemens Tests LOHC Technology For Hydrogen Trains”,
“Liquid Organic Hydrogen Could Facilitate Hydrogen as Propulsion Fuel”,


Another reference that compares alternative fuels for ship propulsion summarizes LOHC possibilities:
“A further complication is related to the endothermic characteristic of the dehydrogenation process itself. If one would recover heat from the dehydrogenated liquid with an additional gas heater, about one-third of the energy stored in LOHC would be required to sustain the dehydrogenation reaction - further increasing the amount of fuel that would need to be stored onboard. This is less of a problem if LOHC would be used in combination with an ICE or SOFC, which could provide enough waste heat to maintain the dehydrogenation process.
In terms of volumetric energy density, one litre of LOHC contains around 1,32 kWh of hydrogen, which is higher than compressed hydrogen (0,81 kWh/l at 350 bar) but lower than liquefied hydrogen (2,359 kWh/l).”

“Comparative report on alternative fuels for ship propulsion”



The dichotomy between the supposed efficiency of batteries vs fuel cell vehicles used as a sole metric is fallacious.

You need power when you need it, and factors like ease of fuelling and the ability to have a supply when you need it are equally important, as are factors like difficulties in ramping battery supplies, although I am entirely in agreement that this is temporary.

The notion that the only way of doing things is to lug around hundreds of kilos of battery or have limited range, as well as the notion that those ( the majority of the world's motorists ) who practically speaking not only cannot but will never be able to conveniently charge at home should put up with being stuffed is nonsensical.

Batteries and fuel cells go together superbly well, with none of the redundancy needed in PHEV ICE vehicles.

Hydrogen, unlike gasoline, does not sour in the tank, so is available for months or years after filling up.

The average commute here in the UK as around 8.5 miles.

So for many, who can charge at home, it may make sense to have a modest battery, perhaps of the order of 10KWh or so,, but with a fuel cell and hydrogen tanks so that you simply continue ZEV driving when that runs low.

Although keen to note that average, as opposed to exceptional, driving distances are only 30 miles or so, battery only people never seem to pick up on that that makes a nonsense of their arguments for efficiency, as you would only be using hydrogen when needed.

If efficiency is really the only, or at least the predominant metric, then those routinely going much further could have a rather bigger battery or drive a BEV, in spite of charging times.

Yep, a fuel cell vehicle is somewhat more complex, but OTOH inherently purifies the air, and if simplicity were the only metric, then construction would be using shovels only, not mechanical diggers.

If you want to go local and can conveniently charge, use a battery for your everyday running around.

If you want to go a distance, simply pump in some hydrogen.

If the figures given for average daily distances travelled by battery enthusiasts are correct, and they are, then they have blown away their own argument about the need for big batteries for long distance for most people.

A 10KWh battery pack and fuel cells in most vehicles is just fine for efficiency, and sticking in expensive batteries to knock that up to 75KWh or so is not sensible


A PEMFC requires a hundreds of kilograms of fuel, carbon fiber tank plus a 10 kWH battery.
A 75 kWh battery may not be required if an aerodynamic vehicle is used. The first GM EV-1 used only 6 miles/kWh on first gen technology over 20 years ago (Cd=.19). The Mercedes EQXX tech gets 7.5 miles/kWh (Cd=.17). So 50 kWh of battery may only be necessary, just use Earth abundant materials which PEMFC do not use either.
You still need to replace the Oil and Gas infrastructure with an inefficient green H2 infrastructure that will costs tens of trillions of USD. BEV need chargers: Norway already has chargers in the Arctic Circle and already sells 80% BEV/PHEV.

Also, ICE enthusiasts: remember do not compare the energy density of a battery vs a tank of gasoline. Compare the weight of the ICE system (gasoline stills needs a 200 kg engine and a 100 kg transmission/balance of plant , so 300 kg of lugging around). ICEV/PHEV/FCEV/BEV can all be in the same weight range.


Correction: A PEMFC requires a hundreds of kilograms of Fuel Cell, carbon fiber tank plus a 10 kWH battery.
A Toyota Mirai weighs and a Tesla Model 3 Long Range both weigh around 4300 lbs.



Yep, an FCEV weighs around the same as a long distance BEV, but that is somewhat less important as it inherently filters the air, whilst a massively accelerating tire shredding Tesla does not, although to be sure that could be an add on.

That does not however mean that the same energy is embodies in the manufacturing of a fuel cell system as is needed to produce a very large battery, which puts back the payback due to its greater efficiency by some time against ICE, with the exact figures depending on loads of variables.

There is nowhere near the same amount of embodies energy in a CF fuel tank, which are rated for 15 years of use, with the longevity of battery packs somewhat more open to question, depending on how they were specced and the priorities of the manufacturer.

We may someday have super new batteries without the same limitations, but that does not necessarily mean that they will beat fuel cells and hydrogen storage, given an even handed assessment.

For instance, manganese hydride kubas -1 hydrogen storage being developed by both Professor Antonelli's Kubas enterprise and the University of New South Wales in association with Quebec Hydro is developing low pressure storage, with untouchably low cost per KWh of storage capacity, some 4 times or so cheaper than batteries.

I have nothing against using batteries where appropriate, but the notion that alternatives based on very partial efficiency metrics have no chance is a nonsense.

Batteries and fuel cells are complementary, and both will play a big part.

Personally if I can charge it up conveniently, batteries will suit me fine, but if I want to go on a run, then hydrogen os way, way more convenient.


I don't know the details of this system, but speaking broadly, this type of processes use heat exchangers to recover the heat.
Once the hydrogen has been recovered from the hot liquid, you don't need it hot any longer. So you pass it through a HX to preheat the incoming cold liquid.


I will just list the inherent advantages of having a fuel cell in the system, as opposed to a pure battery set up, which strangely are never mentioned by some.

No Charger no problem, including a home charger, although if you can't charge at all routinely, then a straight hybrid as opposed to a plug in saves money.

No range limits, with a 5 minute refuel, without knackering your battery by fast charging.

Way better performance in the cold, with marginal reductions in range, as the much touted 'inefficiency' of running the fuel cell can utilise the heat to keep it cozy inside the cabin, and far more efficient.

Better performance in hot weather, as the extra cost for a bit more storage for hydrogen is way less than adding more batteries.

Built in air cleaning, so that city air is left cleaner than before the vehicle went by.

They are also likely to be a more suitable target for solid state batteries initially, as their characteristics are a good match, reducing the bulk, with a compatible duty cycle, and since solid state is likely to come initially at a premium, it is way cheaper to put a modest battery pack in a FCEV, PHEV or otherwise, than to put 50-100KWh in a BEV

Those advantages are solid, and in measurable ways FCEVs are inherently superior.

The greater simplicity of a BEV architecture, and more efficiency providing the electricity is to hand when you need to charge, do not wipe out all the plus points of an FCEV.


To put my above argument for making fuel cells a fairly substantial part of the mix, lest I be thought a mere advocate, as so many are for BEVs, there are many places where BEVs are far better placed.

That is because most of my above arguments apply to areas like Europe, Japan, and the US/Canada, where seasonal variability is high, so supplying renewables on demand is tough, and cold weather etc is a real range problem.

That is where most pricy cars are bought at the moment.

The situation out to around 2050 and on is very different.

Most of the world's new motorists will be added there, where seasonal variability is low, from India to South America and Indonesia to Africa.

And by some time before then, battery hassles should be overcome.



' A research group has recently crunched the numbers on implementing an energy system employing solar photovoltaics (PV) on rooftops combined with electric vehicles (EV) in Jakarta, finding a wealth of economical and environmental benefits. In the analysis, EVs were used as batteries for the variable PV generation.

"Through the widespread usage of rooftop PVs combined with EVs as batteries, there will likely be a 75–76% reduction in CO2 emissions, and the PV/EV system can provide electricity to the city at a price 33–34% cheaper than Jakarta's existing energy system in 2030," said Professor Takuro Kobashi, who led the research.

The group discovered that solar panels already provide a cost-effective means to generate electricity within the city. These savings, which as of 2019 stood at 3–4%, will rise to roughly 8–15% by 2030. When factoring in the use of EVs as a battery for PVs (e.g., Vehicle-to-Home or Vehicle-to-Building systems), where PV electricity stored in EV batteries can power cities as well, the rooftop system could meet 75–76% of Jakarta's electricity demand with clean and affordable electricity.'

That is a completely different ball game to throwing money at big battery BEVs in high latitude countries with great solar variability.

The EVs WHERE THERE IS LOW ANNUAL VARIABILITY can economically provide storage.

I don't advocate FCEVs as a panacea.

But BEVs aren't., either, and immoderately pushing them everywhere at any cost is throwing money away.


Better to use the hydrogen to make ammonia which can be used directly as fertilizer or converted to other forms of fertilizer or commercial explosives and other chemicals.

Davemart, Not all BEVs are large expensive vehicles. The 2023 Chevy Bolt has a MSRP starting at $25,600 while the 2023 Toyota Prius has a MSRP starting at $26,450. These prices are without any tax rebates. I have a 2019 Bolt which I have driven about 65,000 miles and the only maintenance other than tires has been to fill the windshield washer fluid and replace the rear wiper blade. I live in a mid latitude but higher elevation part of the US (Utah) near the ski areas where it snows a lot and is reasonably cold in the winter. While the range is less in the winter than the summer, I still have over 200 miles of range in the coldest part of the winter. The best part is driving by gas stations and paying only about $0.025 per mile to drive which is much less expensive than a even a Prius and a whole lot less than any of the Fuel Cell Vehicles even if I had access to hydrogen.



There are umpteen subsidies and mandates driving the sticker price of BEVs, with companies allocating costs to spread them across ICE cars to hit mandated targets.

That is why only Fiat now offer Class A cars in Europe, out of the big boys.
So the most economic cars were driven out of the market.

One way and another, I think Stellantis's estimate of around a 40% cost increment against ICE is about right.

And here in Europe, fuel savings are mostly due to exemption from fuel excise duty.

It is perks, mandates and subsidy driving BEV sales, not real competitive costs.

That will change, and the differentials narrow, but that is not anytime soon.



I will say it again. Without taking into account any subsidies or tax rebates, it is flat out less expensive to buy a new Chevy Bolt with a 260 mile electric range than it is to buy a new Toyota Prius and the Bolt is also considerably less expensive to operate. I also think that the Bolt is a more capable vehicle. I will note that in Utah, I have to actually pay a moderate road tax for driving an electric vehicle because I do not buy fuel which has a tax that supports road construction and maintenance.

GM probably initially supported the price when the Bolt first came out but the price of a 2023 Bolt is now more than $10,000 less than a 2017 Bolt. Also GM has announced that the price of the 2024 Equinox, a mid-sized SUV with a 300 mile range which will be available this summer will have a base price of $30,000. The BEV vehicles have a relatively expensive battery but the motor and drivetrain is considerably less expensive than an IC engine and transmission. Also, GM's new battery chemistry uses far less expensive cobalt and their new battery architecture has fewer components and less wiring. One of their slogans is "EVs for Everyone, Everywhere" and they have committed to be fully electric by 2035.


@sd said;

' I will say it again. Without taking into account any subsidies or tax rebates, it is flat out less expensive to buy a new Chevy Bolt with a 260 mile electric range than it is to buy a new Toyota Prius and the Bolt is also considerably less expensive to operate. '

You might say it again, but you still don't provide any data or context for your claim.

No doubt taking just the purchase price, ignoring the mandated uptake of BEVs in California etc which forced adoption of BEVs with the excess costs loaded on to other vehicles and so on, what you say is true.

But that tells us almost nothing more generally.

Utah is not the centre of the motoring industry universe, nor can costs there be simply read out as applicable elsewhere.

Gasoline costs a fraction of what it does elsewhere in Utah, which is favourable to the comparison, but as against that in places like Europe it has been very specifically stated that exemptions from fuel tax have a limited shelf life, and electric cars are going to be hit by taxes per mile driven.

To be clear I have no doubt that at some point as batteries develop, the total costs will be lower than for ICE, with equalised taxation everywhere, even excluding the very substantial benefits of reduced GHG.

But in the long run we are all dead.

A hybrid or a plug in hybrid is at minimum competitive with a long range BEV most places, with equal incentives, and in many places ex subsidy and mandate it way more do-able and practical.

That is going to change, but unless you are spending other people's money, timing is all important.



See and then click on vehicles and then electric. The starting MSRP (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) in the United States of a 2023 Chevy Bolt is $25,600. This is before any federal or state tax rebate, etc. and different states my offer different state tax rebates or offers.

For the Prius see: The starting MSRP of a 2023 Prius in the United States is $27,450.

Fuel is considerably less expensive in the United States than in Europe where the fuel taxes are generally much higher but I am not sure how that helps your argument. And as I stated, I do have to pay a road usage tax in Utah as I am not paying fuel taxes which in most states are used for highway maintenance. This is fair enough. The only thing that I could get for free in some places is free electric power for charging and better parking places. However, I do not think that I have saved 1 US dollar yet doing this.

Utah is definitely not the center of the automotive world and some people consider it "flyover" country. However, I did move out here from the Detroit area where I worked on robotic projects for a major automotive supplier.

Anyway, I can not see how you could find fault for my argument that the Bolt is cheaper to buy and own than a Prius even before considering what tax or other incentives might be available.

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