Plansee Shuts Down Fuel Cell Division

Plansee SE, which specializes in high-temperature materials and is based in Reutte, Austria, will discontinue its fuel cell business. Early this year, management had announced that the company intended to refocus attention on core operations, namely molybdenum and wolfram production, and abandon research on metal-supported fuel cells. It is said, however, that Global Tungsten & Powders, a fully owned Plansee subsidiary headquartered in Towanda, USA, will continue

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Free Tickets for emove360

As a media partner of the emove360° Europe, the trade magazine HZwei once again offers free trade visitor tickets this year. All readers of the magazine for hydrogen, fuel cells and electromobility as well as subscribers of the newsletter can register in advance with a special code in order to receive free access to the exhibition grounds. The emove360° Europe will take place from 16 to 18 October 2018 in Munich.

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France Invests in a Hydrogen Future

Nicolas Hulot
Nicolas Hulot, © Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire

Compared to other countries in Europe, France has launched a sizeable number of projects on hydrogen and fuel cells. Reportedly, the latest plan of the government is to move far beyond current figures: In early June, former environment minister Nicolas Hulot, a member of EELV, France’s Green Party, said that France would provide EUR 100 million to support the technologies over the coming years. He also presented a road map in the hopes that hydrogen can be integrated

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CO2 Proves a Valuable Resource

thyssenkrupp
Carbon dioxide (left) can be used in several ways, © thyssenkrupp

Here’s an intriguing idea: Don’t burn off most waste gases produced by steelmaking but turn them into basic chemicals and capture the carbon dioxide they contain instead of discharging it into the air. It is an idea with only one caveat, in that it will most likely take another 15 years before industrial-scale systems are available. Still, thyssenkrupp has taken the first step by starting its Carbon2Chem® project in Duisburg in mid-September.

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Green Gas From Abroad?

denaEco-gas such as hydrogen or methane produced from renewable electricity is widely regarded as central to effective climate change policy. But if the latest predictions are any indication, Germany will need to import most of it. This doesn’t bode well for a shift in attitude, as much of the natural gas consumed in the country is shipped in from abroad as well. It is doubtful that continuing the practice with eco-friendlier imports

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Biocatalysts Produce Methane from CO2 and H2

BioCat
Demonstration system in Copenhagen, © Electrochaea

Producing hydrogen in a completely natural way is something of a Rosetta Stone in science. Many have tried over the past decades, but rarely have they been able to announce a breakthrough in this field. Electrochaea, a startup based in a town west of Munich, could now have taken a big leap toward economic feasibility. This spring, the 20-staff company declared its intention to build power-to-gas bioreactors with a capacity of up to 50 megawatts.

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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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