Transporting Hydrogen

September 2020

Germany is going big on hydrogen, with government support of at least EUR 10 billion going into green power-to-gas technologies in the years to come. But one aspect that often gets overlooked is how to transport H2.

Scientists in the southern German city of Erlangen have come up with what they believe is an elegant solution: an oil-like substance called Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) capable of chemically binding with hydrogen.

LOHC packed in compact containers allows far more hydrogen to be transported in less space than conventional gas bottles. And unlike pure hydrogen it isn’t highly flammable.

Scientists say that in future, hydrogen bound with LOHC could be transported internationally much as diesel fuel is today. Tankers, for instance, could bring LOHC from solar energy farms and hydrolysis plants in Northern Africa to Germany, where it would be transformed back into hydrogen.

That’s the vision of the start-up Hydrogenious, which was co-founded by some of the professors involved in the research.

“We’ll connect the places were hydrogen is cheaply produced with the places where it is desperately needed, said Hydrogenious CEO Daniel Teichmann at the recent Erlangen Innovation Day sponsored by business magazine Wirtschaftswoche.

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