Researchers developing cheap hydrogen storage


From pv magazine Global | via the Hydrogen Stream

The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies says that the industry needs to focus on hydrogen storage due to limited investments and an uncertain profit model. They suggest large-scale storage in proven salt caverns, primarily in Poland, Germany, and the United Kingdom, with less potential in southern Europe. Underground storage of compressed hydrogen in lined rock caverns and depleted hydrocarbon fields is being explored, with contamination concerns requiring further study. Smaller-scale storage options like above-ground tanks, liquid hydrogen, and ammonia may also be viable depending on specific situations.

US and Singaporean researchers have introduced a low-cost aluminium formate (ALF) capable of storing significant hydrogen quantities at non-cryogenic temperatures (>120 K) and low pressures. ALF, with a binding energy of 8.6 kJ/mol, requires cooling to approximately -100 C for maximum hydrogen storage. This molecular sponge, composed of inexpensive aluminum and organic compounds, shows promise for mass-market applications, potentially serving as fuel storage for industrial backup power. ALF is priced at USD 2/kg ($3.11/kg), one-fifth of the community goal for nickel-based MOF production costs, making it an attractive option for safe hydrogen storage systems supporting fuel cells

Nikola has introduced its hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle at its manufacturing site in Coolidge, Arizona. The American heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer reported 223 non-binding orders from 23 customers and highlighted the truck’s impressive attributes: a 500-mile range and a quick 20-minute fuelling time.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has unveiled a USD 100 million funding initiative for zero-emission school buses statewide. This initiative marks the first round of funding under the USD 4.2 billion Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act of 2022. Starting on Nov. 29, manufacturers and dealers of zero-emission battery electric (BEV) or hydrogen fuel cell electric buses can apply to receive funding.

Salzgitter has chosen Andritz to construct a 100 MW electrolysis plant at its Salzgitter Flachstahl site on an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) basis. The plant will incorporate pressurised alkaline electrolyser technology from HydrogenPro. Expected to commence operation in 2026, this facility will produce approximately 9,000 tons of green hydrogen annually, which will be utilized in the production of green steel, as stated by the German steel manufacturer.

The International Energy Agency says that rapid progress has been observed in commercial-scale demonstrations of solid oxide hydrogen electrolysers, with two large demonstrators commencing operations in 2023. However, according to the latest update to its Roadmap: A Global Pathway to Keep the 1.5 C Goal in Reach, electrolysers are still falling behind. This assessment holds true even when considering preliminary manufacturing projects, indicating a gap in achieving the targets for 2030 in a Net Zero Scenario.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says that the Just Transition Fund is investing €1.6 billion in Czechia to establish new hydrogen valleys in regions currently dependent on coal. She emphasises that their investments span the entire clean hydrogen value chain, covering production, storage, transport, and industrial applications. Additionally, von der Leyen highlights that Czech Tatra Trucks will unveil the first hydrogen-powered heavy-duty vehicle in November.

The European Union’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will go into effect during its transitional phase on Oct. 1. During this stage, CBAM will exclusively cover imports of cement, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilisers, electricity, and hydrogen, according to the European Commission. This phase aims to enable EU institutions to gather data on embedded emissions and improve the methodology for the definitive application period, commencing in 2026.

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