Speciality chemicals firm Clariant says that its Catalysts business has formed an alliance with clean energy company, Hydrogenious Technologies, to provide reliable, scalable and safe hydrogen supply solutions for a wide variety of applications.
Hydrogen from renewable energy sources, such as wind and hydro power, has long been recognized as a more efficient and more environmentally friendly fuel. However, fluctuations in weather conditions necessitate cost-effective, large-scale storage in order to ensure a steady supply of electrical energy. Moreover, hydrogen’s very low density, high flammability and extreme volatility present significant challenges to both storage and transportation. Conventional storage methods typically involve either physical compression (200–700 bar) or extreme cooling (–253°C) of hydrogen, both of which are energy intensive and carry significant safety risks.
In what has been a major leap forward, Hydrogenious Technologies, has developed a means of transporting hydrogen by chemically binding the molecules to Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC). In the unique method, hydrogenation of the liquid organic hydrocarbon dibenzyltoluene via Clariant’s EleMax H catalyst allows hydrogen to be ‘stored’, while its dehydrogenation with EleMax D ‘releases’ hydrogen on demand. The highly active Clariant catalysts are designed to offer exceptional selectivity for loading and unbinding hydrogen in order to optimize the life-cycle and efficiency of the LOHC.
Non-explosive, non-toxic and of low flammability, the diesel-like hydrogen-bound compound is not classified a hazardous good, and remains in a useable and convenient liquid state through a broad temperature range of -39°C to 390°C at ambient pressure.
These factors allow considerably easier installation at industrial locations as well as commercial and public fuelling sites, even in close range of or within residential areas It furthermore allows for the handling flexibility required to enable a wide spread roll-out of hydrogen production from renewable power sources (Power-to-Gas).
The companies say that Hydrogenious Technologies’ revolutionary solution and Clariant’s specialised catalysts now present a safer, more efficient alternative for storing and transporting very large amounts of clean hydrogen from renewable source to enable emission-free mobility and cleaner industry processes.
First commercial scale units in operation for example at United Hydrogen Group (Tennessee) confirm the expected technical and economic attractiveness. Clariant will continue to further broaden the applicability and efficiency of this advantageous technology offered by Hydrogenious via catalyst research and expertise.