08 Mar 2021

Construction Starts on Green Hydrogen Storage Project in Germany

08 Mar 2021  by Energy Global   

A plant for storing green hydrogen in liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) on an industrial scale is being built at CHEMPARK Dormagen, Germany.

Covestro production site at CHEMPARK Dormagen, Germany. ©Covestro Deutschland AG.

The state of North Rhine-Westphalia is supporting the project with funding of €9 million from the programme. The Krefeld-based subsidiary of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies, LOHC Industrial Solutions NRW GmbH, will take charge of project management and plant operation. With its proprietary LOHC technology, the Erlangen-based parent company can contribute the key element and the corresponding scaled plant system. Its investor Covestro Deutschland AG will provide the site area and, in the future, the green hydrogen. The scientific partner is the Jülich Research Centre with its Institute for Energy and Climate Research. €2 million of the funding for accompanying scientific studies will go there. Together with the Dutch co-investor Royal Vopak, a possible expansion of the project and potential establishment of a green hydrogen supply chain between the plant in Dormagen and Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is also being planned. There, the green hydrogen would be released from the LOHC and used primarily in the mobility and industrial sectors.

“As part of our project, we are making the Dormagen CHEMPARK the home of the world's largest pilot plant for storing green hydrogen in LOHC - we will use our proprietary technology based on the LOHC carrier medium Benzyltoluene for this purpose. With the planned plant capacity, about 1800 t of hydrogen per year can be stored in LOHC. This is not only a huge step forward in bringing our LOHC technology to industrial scale. At the same time, one of the currently largest supply chains for green hydrogen is being created“, explains Dr Daniel Teichmann, founder and CEO of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies. “We founded our subsidiary LOHC Industrial Solutions NRW located in North Rhine-Westphalia because in our eyes, the Rhenish Revier is an ideal location for the testing and implementation of novel hydrogen supply chains. The Jülich Research Centre with its Institute for Energy and Climate Research is a strong driving force and congenial partner in this field.”

Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid, Director at the Institute for Energy and Climate Research at Forschungszentrum Jülich and Director of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energies (HI ERN) has been a major co-developer of LOHC technology: “The planned plant in Dormagen represents a significant upscaling of hydrogen storage in the form of the LOHC carrier Benzyltoluene and has about twenty times the single-storage capacity of previous plant sizes. In our accompanying research, we’ll concentrate on three aspects in the project: The catalyst behaviour in real operation, possible influences of the LOHC or hydrogen quality on the hydrogenation process and on the further development of industrially usable quality assurance procedures for our LOHC system.”

"The project in Dormagen is another important step in the implementation of our Hydrogen Roadmap North Rhine-Westphalia. It is an excellent example of how we can provide our business and industrial location with green hydrogen in the future. It also forms the nucleus for the creation of new, future-oriented jobs and supports the Rhenish Revier in becoming the leading hydrogen location. We see this innovative technology as a crucial component for a sustainable hydrogen economy that builds on existing structures in the region” affirmed, Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart, Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy of the State North Rhine-Westphalia.

One focus of the project is to integrate the heat energy released during the LOHC hydrogenation process into the steam network and thus into the site's energy supply. The overall efficiency of the LOHC cycle can thus be significantly increased. Commissioning of the plant is scheduled for 2023. Covestro Deutschland AG – a shareholder in Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies since mid-2019 – plans to supply the green hydrogen for this purpose. This will be produced at the site in future as an industrial by-product. "We consequently align our company with the idea of the circular economy. Therefore, we are pleased to support the construction of the LOHC facility in the immediate vicinity of our production plants. This opens up new, interesting utilisation possibilities for green hydrogen, which will be generated as a valuable by-product in our production," said Dr Klaus Schäfer, Chief Technology Officer of Covestro.

Chief Commercial Officer of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies, Dr Marcus Guzmann added: "For the hydrogen economy to ramp up, the integration of such capacity is hugely important now. Binding locally produced hydrogen into LOHC makes it safe, easy, efficient and flexible to handle."

In addition to the established co-operation with Covestro, Royal Vopak, one of the world's leading companies in the provision of infrastructure for the chemical and energy industries and an investor in Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies, has also announced its support. Eelco Hoekstra, CEO Royal Vopak: "From the beginning of our investment in Hydrogenious, we see ourselves as a strategic partner with the common goal of developing cross-regional and global hydrogen logistics. LOHC technology fits perfectly into our portfolio for facilitating a climate-neutral economy. Therefore, we very much welcome the construction of the world's largest LOHC storage facility and are looking forward to contributing to the development of new hydrogen supply chains.”

The project ‘Storage of green hydrogen in LOHC on a tonne scale at Chempark Dormagen site’ (HECTOR) is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

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