How Feasible Is a Zero-Carbon Steel Industry?

ArcelorMittal
ArcelorMittal’s direct reduction plant, © M. Hölling

Considering the highly ambitious GHG reduction targets that both the German government and the European Union have announced for 2050, it seems hardly enough to transform only the electric power market. Each part of the economy must see dramatic changes if the goal is a zero-carbon future. This also includes the steel industry, which produces around 6 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions in Germany

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GrInHy – Sunfire Tests RSOC in Salzgitter

GrinHy
GrinHy Module, © Sunfire; Salzgitter Flachstahl

Even if renewable hydrogen is not yet economically viable, there have been some demonstration projects to test its general suitability outside simulated environments. One of these research endeavors is the EU’s GrInHy, in which a consortium made up of eight companies based in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Finland and Spain have been working together to make an RSOC, that is, a reversible solid oxide electrolyzer

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H21 – Leeds Tests Switch to Hydrogen

H21
H21 Leeds City Gate, © H21

In the 1960s and 1970s, the UK put in enormous efforts to replace the ubiquitous town gas with natural gas supplies. The former, manufactured locally, contained more than 50 percent hydrogen. The proportion dropped to zero once the network was converted and about 40 million appliances were adapted for natural gas, delivered from the country’s North Sea fields. But today, something old could be new again, as one city is planning to switch its pipeline system to pure hydrogen and serve as a model for the rest of the country.

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Increased Efficiency of Hydrogen Fueling Stations

PressureA new technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory could significantly lower the cost of building new hydrogen fueling stations as well as expanding the fueling capacity of existing ones. The new method could reduce the need for expensive equipment and help bring down the cost of station upgrades by re-tasking compressors to serve more than one dispenser at a time and always allow for a fully pressurized and filled cylinder to be available on-site.

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Canada, the Industry’s New Benchmark

Citaro
One of 36 FC buses, © Daimler

Canada has been the biggest driver of a commercial hydrogen and fuel cell market over the past 30 years. It has come as far as it has without political pressure to invent new technologies to protect the climate and the environment, provide security of supply or create jobs and stimulate growth. Early on, hydrogen and fuel cell companies such as Ballard and Hydrogenics recognized the market potential for vehicle applications.

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Bipolar Plates: the Backbone of Fuel Cell Stacks

FZ-Juelich
Graphite versus metal

Bipolar plates are core components of PEM fuel cells. They control not only hydrogen and air supply but also the release of water vapor, along with heat and electrical energy. Their flow field design has a major impact on the efficiency of the entire unit. Plates can come in several sizes and can be manufactured using a variety of production techniques. In principle, the bigger the plates are, the greater is the current of individual cells.

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Electric Minicar for EUR 10,000

e.GO
© e.GO Mobile

Reservation lists have been popular with electric vehicle pioneers – look no further than Tesla’s Elon Musk – and Günther Schuh, a professor and manufacturing expert, is no exception. Before he designed his urban car called e.GO Life, he had built electric vans for Deutsche Post, Germany’s largest provider of mail and shipping services. Now, his minivehicle is going into production and Schuh’s list shows as many as 2,900 preorders.

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Dibenzyltoluene: The Future of Hydrogen Storage

HySA
HySA system, © Framatome

Over the past years, Erlangen, in the German state of Bavaria, has become known as the world’s epicenter of LOHC research. It was here that Wolfgang Arlt, a professor at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, conducted his initial experiments on carbazole and other LOHCs, short for liquid organic hydrogen carriers, in 2011. The city is also home to companies such as Hydrogenious and Framatome

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China is More Open to Adopt Hydrogen

Aver
Stéphane Aver, © Aaqius

Using cartridges to store hydrogen may not be a new idea, but it is one that has never been successfully implemented – until now. Aaqius, a technology supplier based in Switzerland, has developed a unit called Stor-H, which is well on its way to becoming a viable option in several countries. The handy cartridge is intended to power vehicles in not only France, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates but also China.

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