How to use hydrogen, not oil, to power the economy
To achieve climate neutrality by 2050, Germany will need low-emission – if not zero-emission – solutions for transportation and industry. As part of a Kopernikus initiative called P2X, researchers are developing ways to safely store hydrogen in containers in atmospheric conditions. They use liquid organic hydrogen carriers, also known as LOHCs, which bind hydrogen reversibly and allow the subsequent separation of carrier material and gas through a special dehydrogenation unit. It is the only method for efficiently discharging this liquid storage. At the same time, however, the hydrogen needs to be upgraded to fuel cell quality.
Although the aviation industry was the starting point for hydrogen developments, commercial applications in that industry have been few and far between. 1783 marked the launch of the first hydrogen-filled hot-air balloon; later, hydrogen-powered airships crossed the Atlantic. But since the Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst in 1937, the most lightweight element of all has fallen out of favor in every field except for the space industry. (more…)
The work on developing ultra-cold hydrogen was abandoned together with the H2 combustion engine in 2006 – at least, that is what everyone believed. After years of uncertainty, it is now clear that BMW is still holding on to cryogenic technology. Proof of that is the inauguration of a new pump at the multi-energy refueling station in Munich, at which drivers can fill up both their compressed gas and their ultra-cold H2 tanks. (more…)