Successful closing of joint EU project HySTOC utilizing Hydrogenious’ proprietary LOHC technology for hydrogen storage and transportation in Finland
Kokkola & Espoo/Finland, Erlangen/Germany. The HySTOC EU project initiated in January 2018 and located in Finland has been successfully finished recently by its Finnish, Dutch and German partners. The joint project name is a byword for „Hydrogen Supply and Transportation using liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers“ (LOHC). Its aim was to establish and test an efficient hydrogen value chain utilizing Hydrogenious’ proprietary LOHC technology in Finland, from production to use, to facilitate international learnings. Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies, leading the project consortium, announced that this was achieved in all crucial midstream issues.
The containerized LOHC systems from the German market leader Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies for the storage and release of hydrogen from the liquid carrier have proven their qualities as demonstrators within the HySTOC project – in long-term and remote operation, 24/7, at local double-digit sub-zero temperatures, as well with a hydrogen release in a purity needed. The last phase, which started about 12 months ago, was particularly important: The ReleaseBox 10 was operated in Espoo by VTT over 2,000 hours and the quality of the released hydrogen was scientifically tested to ensure a purity according to ISO 14687:2-2019 for use in fuel cells. “Despite the challenges that arose in five years of project duration – not only the pandemic but also the sale of the relevant business unit by the partner where the direct hydrogen filling station application was to take place – the HySTOC joint project has become a very successful one” explains Stefan Naser, Chief Operating Officer of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies. “Hydrogen in the amount of around 2 tons was stored and released from our LOHC material. We thus benefit from these demonstration project findings for our ongoing upscaling implementations.”
The participating VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland in Espoo, who was operating the hydrogen release plant and analysing the quality of the re-released hydrogen over several months, gained satisfactory results regarding purity demands and ReleaseBox operation. The project gave hands-on operation experience on LOHC technology and its future implementation. The successful transport of hydrogen within the LOHC liquid was demonstrated between Kokkola and Espoo test sites over a distance of 500 km. The hydrogen quality analysis showed that on average the hydrogen quality fulfilled relevant ISO standard limits, which was a key target of the project.
That also showed the positive output of the so-called pressure swing adsorption (PSA) of project partner HyGear, making sure that the hydrogen released from the LOHC is purified to hydrogen fuel standards, for refuelling cars or trucks with fuel cell engines. The hydrogen produced meets the purity specification and by optimising the PSA controls a hydrogen yield higher than 90 per cent was measured during the full operation of the ReleaseBox10.
The other scientific research partner in the project is the German Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (Institute of Chemical Reaction Engineering (crt)): The crt also draws a positive conclusion with view to its research activities during the project. Especially the introduction of a new LOHC material which is more suitable in cold environments and has an improved hydrogen release rate can be mentioned as a major finding. In addition, by integrating an electrochemical hydrogen compressor (EHC) into the hydrogen release process, the hydrogen released from the LOHC can be purified and compressed in one unit. Moreover, the option to use the EHC to draw vacuum within the reactor accelerates the hydrogen release reaction and enables lower reaction temperatures from a thermodynamic point of view due to the chemical reaction equilibrium shift. The results of this combination of LOHC and EHC technology have been published in the widely recognized International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies‘ StorageBox 10 was successfully commissioned at the Woikoski’s hydrogen production site in Kokkola in spring 2021 – despite the local -23 degrees Celsius. Woikoski established the test facilities and assembled the StorageBox/ReleaseBox to both Kokkola hydrogen production site and VTT, Espoo. Woikoski produced the hydrogen for the test, bound the hydrogen to the liquid organic carrier material for the transportation, after which released the hydrogen from the LOHC in the ReleaseBox, for VTT’s further testing.