Breakthrough in the fuel cell
breakthrough! German supplier cracks a large fuel cell problem
Schaeffler AG Hydrogen: German supplier cracks great fuel cell problem
Hydrogen is considered a promising energy source for heavy load and long-distance traffic. The problem: For transport, the element must either be cooled down or compressed. The German company Schaeffler now wants to make this unnecessary.
The automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler has closed a cooperation agreement with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies GmbH and the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for renewable energies (here). The common goal is the development of a hydrogen fuel cell, which is operated with a liquid organic hydrogen carrier, so-called LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier)).
The technology is intended to facilitate dealing with the gaseous element at normal temperatures. Dr. Daniel Teichmann, CEO and founder of Hydrogenious, explains in a press release: “The direct use of LOHC in fuel cells for electricity generation makes the handling of hydrogen unnecessary and allows a particularly favorable and safe supply of mobile and inpatient energy consumers."
Benzyltoluol is used in the proprietary hydrogenious process. This is an oil -like, organic substance that chemically binds the hydrogen and lets it transport it in normal environmental conditions. Unlike in the classic version, no molecular hydrogen would be present in a LOHC fuel cell or in the supply chain. The liquid carrier material can be used several times and should therefore be particularly sustainable.
The project builds on the preparatory work of Hydrogenious and here in research and development in the area of LOHC. Schaeffler, together with the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg, develops the corresponding fuel cell technology for the direct use of hydrogen bound in LOHC. To do this, adaptations must be made when building the fuel cells. The catalysts and membranes necessary for this technology are specially developed for this application at the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg.
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This article was written by Tobias Stahl
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