Our LOHC Technology – disrupting hydrogen infrastructure
The LOHC Cycle
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe and can be produced using renewable energy sources. At the same time, it has the lowest density of all gases and has nearly three times the energy content compared to gasoline. Long story short: Hydrogen is the best energy carrier known to mankind. But it is difficult to handle. Good news is, we found a way to bind the molecular hydrogen to a thermal oil making it very safe and very easy to transport – this is our LOHC technology.
Our hydrogen carrier Benzyl toluene stands out due to its inherent characteristics
- Hardly flammable with flash point 130 °C, non-explosive, even when loaded with hydrogen
- Handling under ambient temperatures and pressure during storage and transport
- No self-discharge over time – multi-month storage without losses
- Hazard potential even smaller than for diesel and thus clearly superior to ammonia
High efficiency and flexibility
- Conventional liquid fuel infrastructure usable
- Competitive volumetric storage density 54 kg hydrogen per m³ LOHC
- Carrier material commercially available and reusable hundreds of times
- Fuel cell grade hydrogen purity according to ISO 14687 by using off-the-shelf purification technology
Leading science and research advancing LOHC tech
Founded in 1743, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) is now one of the largest research universities in Germany with about 38,000 students. One of the key research priorities of FAU is the subject area “energy, environment and climate”. In this field scientists are developing an interdisciplinary approach to producing renewable energy with printable photovoltaic technology, conversion into chemical energy using electrolysis and fuel cells – and scalable storage in LOHC. As a spin-off from FAU, Hydrogenious maintains a very close partnership when it comes to basic research. Even today FAU professors a part of Hydrogenious’ scientific advisory board.
Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy
The Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) investigates and develops material- and process-based solutions for a climate-neutral, sustainable, and cost-effective utilization of renewable energies. The institute works on the structural and functional characterization, modeling, and processing of materials relevant to hydrogen and solar technology. The common goal is the understanding of structure-performance-process relationship on the mesoscale. The “Chemical Hydrogen Storage” research department of HI ERN targets new chemical hydrogen storage technologies such as LOHC, related catalytic processes and material technologies. The HI ERN is set up as part of Forschungszentrum Jülich and is operated in close cooperation with Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB).
The Institute for a Sustainable Hydrogen Economy (INW) of Forschungszentrum Jülich will pool the scientific activities in this field within the H2 innovation centre of the Helmholtz hydrogen cluster HC-H2, where Forschungszentrum Jülich will bring its broad expertise with hydrogen to bear and connect with partners. Research at INW will focus on chemical hydrogen storage technologies using liquid and easily liquefiable hydrogen carriers that can be handled in a similar way to conventional fossil fuels. Research at INW will be conducted in at least four research fields, ranging from the nano- to the mesoscale and from the reactor to the system scale.
Easy and efficient: We utilize conventional liquid-fuel infrastructure
We are about creating global LOHC supply chains for green hydrogen from production facilities to worldwide consumption markets. This LOHC network is designed to transport green hydrogen very safely and efficiently to the offtakers using the existing infrastructure for fossil fuels. In this network we are developing logistic solutions for all LOHC transport modes with the goal to establish multi-channel deliveries. Currently our focus is to establish a large-scale port to port LOHC infrastructure from where onward distribution is possible.
With similar but much less dangerous transport conditions than diesel, our LOHC material – benzyltoluene – has the potential to replace the current liquids in the energy sector: Bound to LOHC, hydrogen is stored at ambient conditions without the need of pressurized or cryogenic vessels. Plus, benzyltoluene is flame retardant, non-explosive and has a relatively low hazard potential.
- Hydrogen transport capacity per trip: up to 17,000 t (VLCC)
- Ideal for large scale hydrogen transport on long distances
- Import of low-cost green hydrogen to consumption markets
- Low CAPEX thanks to the usage of the existing infrastructure
- Easy and fast handling by pumping a liquid
by train & barge
- Hydrogen transport capacity per trip: up to 59 t
- Ideal for transport on medium distances and distribution Usage of the existing port, ship, rail and train infrastructure
- Highly flexible distribution enabling global market supply
- Easy and fast handling by pumping a liquid
by tank truck
- Hydrogen transport capacity per trip: up to 1,6 t
- Ideal for short distances and distribution
- Standard unpressurized aluminium tank
- Connecting isolated regions to the hydrogen world
- Simultaneous receiving and discharging of LOHC (up to 1.000 l/min)
Key stepping stones for ramping up hydrogen imports
We accelerate green hydrogen supply ramp-up within Europe.
Northern Green Crane
(Sweden, Netherlands, Germany)
We are establishing a LOHC-BT based supply chain for green hydrogen from Sweden to Central Europe together with Royal Vopak, one of the world‘s leading companies in the provision of infrastructure for the chemical and energy industries. Sweden is notable for its great potential in renewable energies, for example in the form of hydropower and wind power. Thanks to an excellent industrial infrastructure and experienced local partners, up to 8,000 tons of green hydrogen per year will be available for the project. We are currently exploring suitable harbour area sites at the Baltic Sea in North Sweden for a hydrogenation plant with a capacity of storing 24 tonnes of hydrogen per day into LOHC, and subsequent transportation via ship. The LOHC will then be shipped to Rotterdam, foreseeing 40 shiploads per year with a ship capacity of 4,500 to 5,000 m³ each, which corresponds to over 200 tonnes of hydrogen annually. Moreover, about 50% of the import volume will reach Lingen/Germany with its industry offtakers via the river Ems (linked with project Get H2). Along the same lines, we are planning LOHC release facilities at an industrial scale in both Rotterdam and Lingen.
(German IPCEI Hydrogen notification process currently running)
Green Hydrogen@Blue Danube
(Eastern Europe, Bavaria)
(South) Eastern Europe with countries like Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia as well as Ukraine offer high potential for the production and export of green hydrogen. LOHC is an optimal carrier to enable the transport of green hydrogen from there. The Danube, Europe‘s second largest river linking East with West, is predestined as an efficient transport route for LOHC-BT; other forms of hydrogen transport, such as in liquid form or as ammonia, would not even be permitted, if only because of safety. Hence, we are pushing LOHC (de-)hydrogenation plants to be installed within the river triangle Danube/Inn/Ilz in Bavaria. The plant units are sized to supply and release around 1,000 – 2,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year. They are to be erected at the sites of largescale industrial hydrogen consumers near the Danube to create an early hub for green hydrogen supply in Bavaria. These activities are connected to the pan-European parent project “Green Hydrogen@Blue Danube” by VERBUND AG – with the vision to establish a green LOHC supply chain across the Danube region in the future.
The world’s largest plant for storing green hydrogen in liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) on an industrial scale is being built at CHEMPARK Dormagen, with construction planned in the end of 2023. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is supporting the project with funding of 9 million euros from the progres.nrw programme. The Krefeld-based subsidiary of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies, LOHC Industrial Solutions NRW GmbH, will take charge of project management and plant operation. With its proprietary LOHC technology, the Erlangen-based parent company can contribute the key element and the corresponding scaled plant system. With the planned plant capacity, about 1,800 tonnes of hydrogen per year can be stored in LOHC.
Its investor Covestro Deutschland AG will provide the site area and, in the future, the green hydrogen. The scientific partner is the Jülich Research Centre with its Institute for Energy and Climate Research. Two million euros of the funding for accompanying scientific studies will go there. Together with the Dutch co-investor Royal Vopak, a possible expansion of the project and potential establishment of a green hydrogen supply chain between the plant in Dormagen and Rotterdam is also being planned. There, the green hydrogen would be released from the LOHC and used primarily in the mobility and industrial sectors
H2Sektor / HRS Erlangen
We have established a complete LOHC supply chain with green hydrogen as a fuel for mobility in Germany. So far, hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) have mostly been supplied with compressed and liquid hydrogen. Compressed hydrogen means limited capacities due to the low energy density and a high space requirement. If liquid hydrogen is stored for a longer period of time, so called boil-off losses occur. The new hydrogen refuelling station in Erlangen (operated by H2 MOBILITY Germany) shows the solution, especially for urban or incident sensitive environments: It also uses liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) for hydrogen supply including underground storage. This LOHC deployment is part of the broader H2Sektor pilot project, which involves the development and research of a complete LOHC-based chain from green hydrogen production to transport and use of the hydrogen for mobility.
The dehydrogenation resp. release system (ReleaseBox 10) used in the H2Sektor test project at the Erlangen hydrogen refueling station is a 30-foot container. This small plant performance class releases around one kilogram of hydrogen every hour from around 20 liters of LOHC material. Following the release, a compression to 45 bar takes place. From the ReleaseBox, the hydrogen reaches an intermediate store, which ensures that it is compressed to the 350 bar (buses, trucks) and 700 bar (cars, light utility vehicles) required for refueling. Since 2022, Hydrogenious has been pursuing the development of significantly larger release systems with a capacity of at least 1.5 tons of hydrogen/day, which are particularly suitable for refueling stations supplying hydrogen truck and bus fleets.
We connect with the Arab world.
ADNOC – Jera – Uniper – Hydrogenious
Jointly with ADNOC, JERA Americas and Uniper, we are exploring a large-volume and low-carbon hydrogen supply chain from the United Arab Emirates to Europe. The project includes the development of a commercial demonstration project with LOHC plant systems from Hydrogenious and the associated infrastructures with volumes of approx. 10,000 up to 180,000 tonnes of hydrogen per year. The LOHC is expected to be transported by sea to Wilhelmshaven/Germany or Rotterdam/Netherlands, connecting capable and ready countries for green hydrogen export from the Middle East region such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman with hydrogen demanding countries worldwide, that means not only in Central Europe but also with e.g. Asia. Beyond that, with Hydrogenious LOHC Emirates we also prepare further market activities, connecting countries from the Arab region with hydrogen demanding countries worldwide.
We contribute to create viable hydrogen hubs.
Together with the Port of Amsterdam in early 2021, we have played a key role in setting up the ‚H2 Gate initiative‘ that aims at importing one million tons of green hydrogen annually, also by involving the tank storage company Evos. After succesfully finishing the feasibility study with a focus on LOHC as a key storage and transport solution, we will now jointly put the worked-out blueprint for becoming a major hydrogen hub into action, under the new name „H2A“.
At the Port of Hamburg, we are planning to establish LOHC release plants at a multi-ton scale for supplying industrial and maritime hydrogen offtakers in the harbour and hinterland region. In this way, we are focusing at an early stage on the Port of Hamburg in its strategic importance as a future hydrogen and LOHC hub. As part of the TransHyDE Heligoland project, we are developing LOHC supply chains from green hydrogen sources, not only with the North Sea/Heligoland as a role model starting point, but also including other import routes.