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Archive for the category “hydrogen”


What do you do with hydrogen, obtained from electrolysis? You can store it under high pressure or cool and liquefy it.

Alternatively, you can store it in the form of borohydride powder (NaBH4).
Energy density NaBH4: 1 kg contains 9 kWh

We reported about this very promising development earlier:

[deepresource] – NaBH4 – The Vice-Admiral Has a Message for Dutch Parliament
[deepresource] – H2Fuel – Hydrogen Powder NaBH4
[deepresource] – Regeneration of Spent NaBH4 From Renewable Electricity
[deepresource] – Production of NaBH4
[deepresource] – Clipper Stad Amsterdam & Hydrogen Powertrain

Meanwhile, H2-Fuel developments proceed:

[] – Update H2-Fuel November 2019 (Dutch)

Circular process:

Inpakproces (storage process)
Uitpakproces (release process)

Status storage proces:

• 5kW installation working for 21 months continuously, stable and with good performance
• Scaling towards 125kW
• Successful tests to replace HCL catalyst

Next steps:

• Build application in ship (via H2SHIPS project)
• Build application in bus
• Evaluate scenario’s with circular process (storage and release process) in ship. A ship that merely needs to refuel water to sail!

Status release process:

• Theoretical modelling and improvement process by several universities (TU Delft/TU Eindhoven/TU Gent)
• On a laboratory scale the process works

Next steps:

• Building small scale power station
• Baseline measurement energy efficiency
• Improve catalyst to increase energy efficiency
• Design test power station for industrial sites
• Find 2 test locations for industrial applications

Hydrogen Delta

Halleluja videos of the Hydrogen Delta Day, 22 October, 2019 in Vlissingen (“Flushing”) in the Zeeland province of the Netherlands. The Netherlands produces ca. 900,000 ton hydrogen per year from fossil sources, half of which is consumed by industry in Zeeland. Eventually all Dutch hydrogen needs to be produced renewable, with the electricity coming from several GW large nearby offshore wind farms, to be built in this decade and beyond, with the first currently under construction, the Borssele 1.5 GW offshore wind farm.

[] – The Hydrogen Delta Day
[] – Corporations and government want 1 GW electrolyzer by 2030
[deepresource] – The Emerging Dutch Hydrogen Economy

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Hydrogen Roadmap Europe

This report makes the case that achieving the energy transition in the EU will require hydrogen at large scale. Without it, the EU would miss its decarbonization objective. The fuel offers a versatile, clean, and flexible energy vector for this transition. While hydrogen is not the only decarbonization lever, it is an essential lever among a set of other technologies.

[] – Hydrogen Roadmap Europe

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$64 Million to Bring Down Cost Electrolyzer Below $400/kWh

The US Department of Energy has been plowing research dollars into hydrogen and fuel cell technology, and the latest development is all about leveraging wind and solar energy to bring the cost of renewable hydrogen down, down, down.

The primary source of hydrogen today is natural gas, and the market is huge. The US produces 10 million tons of hydrogen annually under the current scheme of things. New applications — including transportation and energy storage among others — could bump up demand even more in the coming years.

With that in mind, check out the Energy Department’s new $64 million round of funding for projects related to the H2@Scale initiative of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

[] – $64 Million for: Renewable Hydrogen In, Natural Gas Out
[] – Renewable Hydrogen: Key to a New Civilization

Siemens eHighway

In the follow-up project, ENUBA 2, Siemens entered into a partnership with Scania, a Swedish company. The focus is on optimizing the integration of the drive system and pantograph into the vehicle and on providing the necessary traffic control systems.
The picture shows a driving scene at the extended eHighway test track in Groß Dölln, Germany

In Germany there are now several test roads for the purposes of developing an overhead line system for trucks. Locations: Hessen, Schleswich-Holstein and Brandenburg.

[] – Sieht so der Laster der Zukunft aus?
[] – Trolleytruck

Schleswich-Holstein test highway

Hessen test highway

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Hydrogen Bus in Pau, France

[] – Pau unveils first of 8 hydrogen fuel cell buses
[] – Französische Stadt nimmt Wasserstoff-Schnellbus in Betrieb
[] – Van Hool’s Fuel Cell Bus Awarded Bus of the Year at Busworld
[] – Van Hool

Denmark Getting Real Serious With Energy Transition

Denmark is racing ahead to be the first to have a fully integrated renewable energy base and harvest the skills and industries that will secure future wealth, an industry that will replace the Seven Sisters of the 20th century. The Danish government has announced:

– 100% renewable electricity by 2028
– building one of more energy islands in the North Sea
– 10 GW worth of electrolyser capacity, to be installed on these islands
– adjacent huge offshore wind parks
– investment volume 27-40 billion euro
– the entire scheme is large enough to provide 10 million households with electricity
– 80% in Danish parliament support this scheme, providing great investor security

These islands will be built in the vicinity of huge offshore wind parks. Denmark has less than 1 million households.

Money is sufficiently available as Danish pension funds to the tune of 450 billion euro are hard-pressed to find profitable investment opportunities.

The location of the island(s) is not yet decided, but it is certain they will be built at least several tens of kilometers out of the coast and hence out of sight.

[] – Dänemark plant künstliche Energieinsel zur Herstellung von Wasserstoff
[] – Denmark Embarks on 10GW Offshore Wind Energy Island Mission
[] – Denmark plans $30 billion offshore wind island that could power 10 million homes

The Netherlands announced similar plans earlier:

[deepresource] – Energy Island(s) North Sea Taking Shape
[deepresource] – Dutch Consortium to Build Gigawatt Electrolysis Plant

Expect friendly Dutch-Danish competition about who will realize these kind of projects first. May the best low country win.

Hydrogen Boiler

(Dutch language video)

Dutch central heating boiler producer Remeha celebrating a little party for installing their pilot hydrogen boiler in a real project in Rotterdam-Rozenburg, a project Remeha claims to be the first of its kind world-wide.

Remeha is the result of a merger of Dutch Remeha, British Baxi and French company Dietrich Thermique (from 1684!).

[] – Pilotproject met waterstof, van opwekking tot verwarming! – Remeha


“Renewable Hydrogen Already Cost Competitive”

Calculated “break-even price” of renewable hydrogen for Germany (left) and Texas (right) compared to benchmark prices for hydrogen supply from fossil fuels not using CCS. For Germany, this assumes a waiving of the requirement for subsidies that renewable electricity be fed into the grid. The peak in 2020 for Texas is due to a phasing out of the production tax credit (PTC), a fixed credit per kWh of produced electricity. [Source: Glenk & Reichelstein (2019)].

Conclusion of a study, published in “Nature”, about the cost of hydrogen, obtained through electrolysis, powered by renewable electricity:

renewable hydrogen is already cost competitive in niche applications (€3.23 kg−1), although not yet for industrial-scale supply. This conclusion, however, is projected to change within a decade (€2.50 kg−1) provided recent market trends continue in the coming years.

[] – Economics of converting renewable power to hydrogen (source)
[] – Renewable hydrogen “already cost competitive”, says new research

Dutch Consortium to Build Gigawatt Electrolysis Plant

Partners in the Gigawatt Electrolysis Consortium.

The Dutch government has planned more than 10 GW offshore wind capacity for the coming decade.

Dutch offshore wind plans. The Borssele wind park (bottom left) is currently under construction, the largest world-wide to date (1.5 GW). The planned 1 GW electrolyzer will be located onshore nearby.

With this prospect, ignoring the storage problem is no longer possible. The Netherlands officially has adopted the hydrogen economy as the model for the low-carbon future (“power-to-gas”). With this in mind the road is cleared for planning and constructing large-scale hydrogen storage facilities in the Zeeland province.

The Netherlands has a head-start in this because it owns a fine-mazed natural gas grid, that can be re-used for hydrogen or one of its several derivatives. That grid is a left-over from “Groningen“, what was once the 9th largest natural gas field in the world and the largest in Europe.

[] – Start of initiative for construction of 1 GW electrolysis plant for green hydrogen in Zeeland
[] – Starting signal for design of GW electrolysis plant
[] – Kick-off for Designing a Gigawatt Electrolysis Plant

Hydrogen Economy Taking Off in Europe

There are several large players in Europe positioning themselves for competition on the market of large-scale electrolysers/fuel cells, think 20-100 MW. Key-players are Siemens and Thyssen-Krupp in Germany, ITM in Britain, Nel-hydrogen in Norway, Gasunie and Akzo-Nobel in the Netherlands, just to name a few.

The yearly Hannover Messe is a good place to get informed about the state of the art of hydrogen engineering.

[] – Hannover Messe 2020, hydrogen
[] – Youtube channel with hundreds of videos for hydrogen professionals

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Thyssen-Krupp – Coal Out, Hydrogen In

The struggling German steel giant Thyssen-Krupp, that is losing the competition against cheap Chinese steel, is trying to reinvent itself, away from coal towards hydrogen. This month it has started steel production in the Duisburg plant on a hydrogen basis, away from coal dust. By 2022 all four blast furnaces will need to operate with hydrogen.

Thyssen-Krupp 20 MW electrolysis module, based on “zero-gap” technology with 82% efficiency and large electrode plates (2,7 m2). Zero-gap electrolysis: distance between electrode plates less than 0.5 mm, rather than larger than 2 mm. The key to improve activity/throughput is nano-structuring of electrodes.

Thyssen-Krupp is putting its money where its mouth is and since 2018 brings large-scale electrolysis modules on the market (20 MW).

[] – Thyssenkrupp bringt großindustrielle Wasserelektrolyse auf den Markt
[] – Water electrolysis: Power to gas
[] – Thyssenkrupp: A steel giant fights for its future
[] – Thyssen-Krupp testet erstmals Stahlproduktion mit Wasserstoff
[] – Zero-gap water electrolysers

Zero-gap electrolysis.

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INGRID Hydrogen Storage and Grid Balancing

Startdate INGRID project: 2012. Budget €24 million.

From the DOE:

The INGRID project will combine the recent advances in Smart Grids and hydrogen-based energy storage to match energy supply and demand and optimize the electricity generated by intermittent Renewable Energy Sources while ensuring security and stability of the power distribution network The consortium will design, build, deploy and operate a 39 MWh energy storage facility using McPhy hydrogen-based solid state storage and Hydrogenics electrolysis technology and fuel cell power systems in the Puglia region in Italy, where over 3.500 MW of solar, wind, and biomass are already installed. The hydrogen energy storage installation, with more than 1 ton of safely stored hydrogen (the largest ever built), including a novel fast responding 1.2 MW hydrogen generator, will be fully controlled by advanced smart grid solutions provided by Engineering and will provide effective and smart balancing support for the local grid managed by Enel Distribuzione. Several potential value streams for the generated carbon-neutral hydrogen will be investigated.

[] – INGRID Hydrogen Demonstration Project

[] – Ingrid project site
[] – High-capacity hydrogen-based green-energy storage solutions for grid balancing
[] – High-capacity hydrogen-based green-energy storage solutions for grid balancing
[] – Hydrogenics, Canadian participant in the consortium.

Green Hydrogen in European Steel Production

[] – World’s largest “green” hydrogen pilot facility successfully commences operation
[] – Hydrogen In, Fossil Fuel Out For Leading Steelmaker, Eventually
[] – The project is carried out within an EU-framework
[] – Targeting a future without CO2

Breakthrough in Electrolyzer Technology

Researchers from the Netherlands, China, Japan and Singapore have developed a method to increase electrolysis throughput per unit of volume with a factor of 20. Think a 10 MW electrolyzer device with the size of a standard household fridge. Keyword: nanocages of an alloy of nickel and platinum. The key to success is essentially a radical increase of active catalyst surface achieved with nano-technology.

On top of that, the breakthrough is achieved with a cheaper catalyst; no longer pure, expensive and rare platinum needs to be used, but an alloy with cheap nickel works even better than is possible with present day state-of-the-art platinum catalysts. The expectation is that hydrogen industry will be able to develop a commercial electrolyzer of 10 MW capacity, with merely the size of a fridge. This device could for instance absorb the output of a large offshore 10 MW wind turbine and transform the electricity “on the spot”. Alternatively, such an electrolyzer could be installed in residential areas, absorbing solar electricity from panels installed on roofs, thereby greatly reducing grid load.

[] – Storing energy in hydrogen 20 times more effective using platinum-nickel catalyst
[] – Bunched Pt-Ni alloy nanocages as efficient catalysts for fuel cells
[] – Energie opslaan in waterstof 20 keer effectiever met katalysator van platina-nikkel

The catalyst can be used both in electrolysis as well as fuel cell mode.

[source] Professor Emiel Hensen, with the XPS setup (Near Ambient Pressure X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) Molecular Catalysis, inorganic materials chemistry, Scheikundige Technologie, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

[] – Nanocages That Split Water Seventeen Times Faster Might Be Hydrogen’s Big Bang
[] – Minder platina nodig in waterstofauto’s
[] – Energie opslaan in waterstof 20 keer effectiever met katalysator van platina-nikkel
[] – Brandstofcellen kunnen met minder platina toe
[] – Electrolysis of water
[] – Insituut for renewable energy storage

[] – There Could Be A Magnetic Solution To Building The Hydrogen Economy

Perhaps nanocages and magnetism could be combined to increase productivity even more.

10 MW REFHYNE Electrolyzer Project for Shell Germany

[] – 10MW Electrolyser at the Rhineland Refinery

Port of Rotterdam to Build Largest Green Hydrogen Plant in Europe

Scale: 45,000 tonnes hydrogen per year or the equivalent of absorbing 250 MW of renewable electricity.
Compare this with Dutch plans to have 12 GW offshore wind by 2030.

[] – Largest ‘green’ hydrogen plant in Europe
[] – Energy transition results in extensive plans for hydrogen

The Anion Exchange Membrane Hydrogen Electrolyser

[] – Company site

ITM Power Opens 1GW/Year Electrolyser Manufacturing Facility

Hydrogen economy taking off in the UK. Market leader ITM Power has opened a electrolyser equipment manufacturing facility in Bessemer Park, Sheffield, UK, the annual output of which will be able to convert 1 GW electricity in hydrogen, that is the output of an entire standard conventional power station.

HyStock – First Step Building Dutch Hydrogen Economy

[] – Vliegende start waterstof: 20 miljoen euro subsidie voor Hydrogen Valley in Noord-Nederland
[] – Opening HyStock: startpunt voor de groene waterstofeconomie
[] – CEO Gasunie: “Nederland kan toonaangevend waterstofland zijn”
[] – Wind, netwerk, opslag en visie. Onmisbaar voor groene waterstof en Nederland heeft het allemaal

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