Natural hydrogen

© Prinzhofer et al., 2018
© Prinzhofer et al., 2018

A promising source of clean and renewable energy

Natural hydrogen gas is known on Earth since the 1920’s. However, its potential interest as an exploitable source of energy has been growing in the past ten years. Early discoveries were either forgotten and neglected (Australia, Kansas, USA, Brazil, Mali) or located in remote areas where little if no economic interests can be devised (Mid-oceanic ridges, mountain chains).

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Lift-off for hydrogen-powered aircraft?

Airbus wants fuel cell planes by 2035 – HY4 receives flight permit

DLR
Airbus
Is this the future of flying? © DLR

Discussions regarding hydrogen as an optional, exceedingly lightweight aviation fuel are not at all new. One major drawback in switching from kerosene to another energy carrier is the corresponding, complete infrastructure overhaul. Due cause for hesitation. Regardless, some companies are seriously pushing to put hydrogen back on the agenda. Notably, last September, Toulouse-based Airbus announced the intention to bring to market a fuel cell-powered aircraft “by 2035.” Many other businesses have also presented plans to launch zero-emission aviation.

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Go East, hydrogen

What’s up in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Russia

PGNiG
© PGNiG

Central and eastern Europe are no newcomers to the hydrogen market. Pertinent chemical and refinery industries can draw on a wealth of expertise. Poland, the region’s most important economy, was one of the European Union’s top three hydrogen countries in 2018, producing a total of 1.3 million tons. Unfortunately, much of the hydrogen is fossil fuel-sourced and not available on the open market. Still, efforts to make chemical companies and refineries part of a new hydrogen economy are underway.

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Digital H2 events

What’s (not) hot at HOC, H2.0 and WindEnergy

Trade shows and conferences

HOC

How do you report on a conference you attended from your office chair or couch at home? Were you able to attend closely to each and every online presentation and workshop? I have to admit, I find webinars and online trade shows difficult to handle. I feel I have yet to develop a sense for how well (or not) attendees receive these offers, for the prevailing mood among exhibitors and speakers, and for where the real news is.

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Hurray for hydrogen!

Hybrid event marks f-cell’s 20th anniversary

Trade shows and conferences

Fig. 1: Attending his last f-cell award ceremony as state environment minister, Franz Untersteller said: “Everyone wants a piece of the hydrogen pie.”
“Everyone wants a piece of the hydrogen pie.”

In 2001, Peter Sauber Messen und Kongresse event management kicked off the f-cell show in Stuttgart, Germany. Since that first, intimate get-together, featuring a small exposition, f-cell has become a hydrogen and fuel cell magnet. In September 2020, f-cell celebrated its 20th anniversary with a hybrid event featuring online and offline sessions. Many attendees thought the in-person meetings at Stuttgart’s Haus der Wirtschaft a blessing, happy and relieved to exchange ideas and phone numbers face to face once more.

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Fundamental change

Thinking sustainably about energy and agriculture

Wind turbines on a field

What a year we’ve had. Rarely has so much, in such a short time, changed in the energy sector, particularly for the hydrogen industry. For starters, we have witnessed the arrival of a national hydrogen strategy, council and office, a European Green Deal, a European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, RED II and the IPCEI Hydrogen, as well as revisions to the German EEG.

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A new dawn for hydrogen

Hydrogen charging station from ITM Power
Solar-Hydrogen-Station © ITM Power

Fuel cell and hydrogen stocks are riding a wave of popularity as a new megatrend sweeps the market. So far, every single one of these stocks has exceeded expectations. But how long will the love affair between investors and the industry last? Will analysts and shareholders use new methods to evaluate business models, prospects, backlogs, submarkets and revenues, and, above all, the potential for profit? And will the market separate the wheat from the chaff? I’d say yes, that will definitely happen.

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LOHC – Hydrogen transport made easy

How to use hydrogen, not oil, to power the economy

Fig. 1: Draining LOHCs through two bottles (the differing colors indicate which LOHC is still charged)
© Allgemeine Services KIT, Bramsiepe

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.

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Hydrogen breakthrough in steelmaking

Reducing global emissions by 7 percent

Fig. 1: Conventional steelmaking process versus HYBRIT
© HYBRIT

A new, revolutionary process developed by the Swedish steel industry could be a viable and competitive way to use hydrogen to displace coal and other fossil fuels in steelmaking. It would lower the carbon footprint of 1 ton of steel from 1.8 tons of CO2 to 25 kilograms.

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