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The bottleneck with regard to hydrogen mobility is in the production of H2, and this must be widened considerably. “If we had an installed capacity of 21 megawatts in 2015, then in 2050 we will need 3,000 times that – although not only for mobility. By 2030, an annual growth rate of one to five gigawatts will be required,” says a scientist responsible for technology marketing and business models. Up to now, however, electrolyzers, which use electricity to produce hydrogen, have largely been produced manually. For the quantities and performance required in the future, it is necessary to increase system reliability and develop appropriate production technologies – in other words, to automate the production of such systems, transfer them to industrial scale and reduce production costs. The Institute for Solar Systems, for example, is working on several fronts to reduce the costs for electrolyzers: The researchers develop new membrane materials, extend the service life of the cells by means of an anti-corrosion coating, and carry out appropriate service life tests. The colleagues at the Institute for Technologies combine high-temperature electrolysis with Fischer-Tropsch synthesis – a large-scale technical process for coal liquefaction. The combined pilot plant will be installed at a lime works of a company and serve as the basis for a further scale-up.

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It is elementary in all the development tasks towards larger electrolysers to test them – on an industrial scale. This is possible at the ELP electrolysis test and experimental platform in Leuna, which the Institute for Microstructures is currently setting up. It is scheduled to go into operation in early 2021. “ELP is the first experimental platform that offers system tests on this scale open to technology,” says a scientist. “With a total of six megawatts of connected load, the capacity of our four outdoor sites is significantly higher than the test capacity of the manufacturer companies”. The infrastructure is also unique in Germany: The hydrogen bio produced – with a connected load of six megawatts this can easily be a few tons – is fed into the 157 kilometer H2 pipeline of Linde AG. In this way, it can not only be efficiently produced, but also optimally transported and used in the chemical parks of Central Germany, H2 filling stations and other projects. With the Hy2Chem scaling platform connected to the ELP, the hydrogen produced on a large scale can be used for the sustainable production of basic chemicals and fuels.

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If the hydrogen is “green”, i.e. the electrolysers are operated from renewable energy sources, bio hydrogen mobility makes ecological sense. However, this leads to a further challenge: the energy from wind and sun fluctuates greatly, so the electrolyzers run at different partial loads. How does this affect the electrolyzers? And how, in turn, can the electrolyzers be used so that the wind turbines do not have to be switched off as before when there is an excess supply of electricity, but instead can store the excess energy in the form of hydrogen? Experts from the Institute for Wind Energy Systems are investigating this in a test field: A two-megawatt electrolyser unit is planned that will produce up to one ton of hydrogen per day. From 2022, industrial customers will have the opportunity to test their electrolyzers and the entire system in various grid scenarios.

The Institute for Automation is developing a completely different approach to green hydrogen production – independent of electrolysers and equally independent of wind and photovoltaic systems – in the HyPerFerMent project together with partners. “We use biological waste to produce hydrogen, more precisely biogas plants,” reports the scientist, group leader at the institute. The principle: Microorganisms produce CO2 and hydrogen from the biological waste during dark fermentation. The researchers separate this hydrogen. “In the long term, the 9500 biogas plants in Germany could thus not only contribute to hydrogen production, but also increase their efficiency and be operated more economically than before,” says the scientist. The researchers are currently investigating the process on a laboratory and pilot plant scale, with a pilot plant to be connected directly to a biogas plant in 2021.

Hydrogen Bio is used in many applications in many industries around the world, and not all of these fit into easily definable green hydrogen categories.

If you need green hydrogen produced using renewable energy sources like wind or solar, feel free to contact us. Chances are, we will be able to meet your needs with our solutions and services.

Large quantities of hydrogen are required for different purposes in many industries. Today, this hydrogen is normally produced off-site and delivered to the factory.

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https://news.rub.de Bio solar cell produces hydrogen. The semi-artificial system is constructed like a Lego box – which opens up a wide range of applications for mobility and bioenergy production.

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