Speciality chemical manufacturer Clairant has announced its participation in the German Kopernikus initiative for advancing renewable energy.
The aim of the project, part of a German Federal Ministry of Education and Research initiative is to facilitate more renewables and Clairant will do this by contributing to the “Power-to-X” project, designing catalysts tailored for LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers) technology.
Partners will include RWTH Aachen University, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials (IWM) / Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG.
Hydrogen has the potential to be a major energy carrier and obtained from renewable energy or industrial sources can be used to store energy for subsequent use in industry, mobility and electricity.
However, hydrogen’s very low density, high flammability and extreme volatility make storage and transportation difficult, thereby limiting its environmental and commercial advantages.
The project is about the development of LOHC technology, which can overcome such challenges.
In a breakthrough method developed by Hydrogenious Technologies, hydrogen is chemically bound to the LOHC carrier, which acts like a battery for hydrogen: it charges through catalytic hydrogenation and releases hydrogen via catalytic dehydrogenation. Compared to conventional methods, the LOHC concept enables significantly safer and more efficient storage and transportation of hydrogen. Among other benefits, this will greatly facilitate the conservation of surplus energy from wind and solar sources.
Clariant has successfully developed dedicated catalysts for LOHC hydrogenation (EleMax® H 101) and dehydrogenation (EleMax D 101).
The research phase is sponsored for an initial period of three years. During this time, the team intends to advance LOHC technology from Research and Development (R&D) to industrial maturity.