The Hydrogen Stream: Novel fuel cell tech based on liquid-organic hydrogen carrier


German automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler has signed a cooperation agreement with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies and the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energies (HIERN). The goal is to develop a hydrogen fuel cell that runs on a liquid organic hydrogen carrier, the so-called LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier). “The direct use of LOHC in fuel cells for power generation eliminates the need to handle hydrogen as a gas and allows a particularly cheap and safe supply for mobile and stationary energy consumers,” commented Daniel Teichmann, CEO of Hydrogenious. In Hydrogenious' proprietary process, benzyltoluene is used as the LOHC. “This is an oil-like organic substance that chemically binds the hydrogen and allows it to be transported under normal ambient conditions. Unlike the classical design, there would be no molecular hydrogen in a LOHC fuel cell or in the supply chain. The liquid carrier material can be used multiple times, making it particularly sustainable,” Schaeffler wrote on Friday. Together with the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg, Schaeffler is developing the corresponding fuel cell technology for the direct use of hydrogen bound in LOHC. For this purpose, adaptations have to be made in the design of the fuel cells, said Schaeffler.

Australia’s alternatively powered automotive company H2X Global has formed a joint venture with Indian automotive components manufacturer Advik Hi-Tech to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells, generators and vehicles. Pure Hydrogen is the largest shareholder of H2X. The first fuel cell Generators manufactured by the joint venture will be used in a large-scale power system in Pune, India. “H2X chief executive officer Brendan Norman believes the Indian market is critical to the long-term success of the hydrogen industry and that the partnership with Advik will be equally critical to the company’s growth,” the company wrote on Monday. Australian media outlet Stockhead noted that Pure Hydrogen also signed a binding five-year term sheet with specialist vehicle distributor BLK Auto.

British chemicals company Ineos invited major engineering design contractors to tender for the next stage of the design of a carbon capture enabled hydrogen production plant and major associated infrastructure at Grangemouth. “This will see the displacement of hydrocarbon fuels used at Grangemouth, like natural gas, with clean, low carbon hydrogen to power our processes,” commented Stuart Collings, CEO Ineos O&P UK. Blue hydrogen will fuel the existing Combined Heat and Power Plant, the KG Ethylene Plant and assets in the Petroineos Refinery. “This will require a new hydrogen distribution network throughout the site and modifications to the existing fuel gas network, all of which are captured within the scope of the engineering design,” the company wrote last week. Meanwhile, the UK is resorting to diplomacy and stronger ties with potential producers. For instance, a new research project announced by the United Arab Emirates government will explore potential green hydrogen collaborations between the UAE and the UK. The UK also launched on Monday its Hydrogen Policy Commission, which will advise politicians on how to support green and blue hydrogen in the country. The Hydrogen Policy Commission should publish its first assessment later this year.

The European Commission has adopted an amendment of the energy statistics regulation. The amendment, which will enter into force in February, will provide statistics to monitor several policy initiatives to decarbonize the European economy, including the Energy Union and the Fit-for-55 package, as well as the Hydrogen Strategy and the Initiative on Batteries. The new statistics will be first available for the year 2022. “These new statistics will differentiate green hydrogen (produced from renewable energy) from hydrogen produced from oil or gas, and will include data to monitor how hydrogen is used in our economy,” Eurostat wrote last week. The European Commission is also supporting member states in their hydrogen plans through several support schemes. Last week, for instance, Italy asked regions to express their interest for the construction of green hydrogen production sites on brownfield sites, which will be funded under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (EU funds).

Popular content

Patriot Hydrogen executed an oversubscribed A$1 million capital raise, the Melbourne-based renewables company announced Monday. The company is expected to install its first modular hydrogen production unit in mid-2022 at Kimberley Clean Energy’s Kilto Station project near Broome, Western Australia. The A$ 1 million in funds will also underpin Patriot’s planned initial public offering in the third quarter of 2022 and also fund the delivery of more Patriot modules to Kimberley Clean Energy, which signed a memorandum of understanding for 75 units, the company said.

Australia’s Aviation H2 is seeking to raise initial capital of $300,000 to fund the planning study for the development of a hydrogen jet engine plane. “Once their initial testing is complete in March 2022, the team will present their recommendation on the most commercially viable model to begin constructing a prototype. The lead engineer and company director, Dr Helmut Mayer, believes they will have their first plane in the sky in the next 18 months,” Aviation H2 wrote on Sunday.

French transport tech company Gaussin announced last week that its racing team has completed the Dakar 2022 with its H2 Racing Truck, a hydrogen-powered truck sponsored by Saudi energy company Aramco. The truck started the race in early January. “We even exceeded some of our expectations, with a demonstrated range of 400 km, whereas our conservative estimate was for a range of around 250 km,” commented CEO Christophe Gaussin.

This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: