LOHC technology turns hydrogen into a secure power storage technology

The innovative solutions from H2-Industries make the use of highly explosive hydrogen gas in power storage technology simple, safe and effective. LOHC technology makes it possible to store, transport and release large quantities of electricity in an environmentally friendly and completely harmless way.

Energy storage in comparison

Hydrogen is the ideal energy source. It is also easy to produce using renewable energy and is available in large quantities. No pollutants result from it being burned.

Building on this, H2-Industries developed a solution that revolutionises the electricity market. The innovative LOHC storage technology makes it completely safe to handle hydrogen as an energy source. Large quantities of hydrogen can now be stored, transported and re-used without risk.

The LOHC technology is based on liquid organic hydrogen carriers, an organic oil-like substance that binds hydrogen chemically. Various substances would be suitable for this; H2-Industries uses dibenzyltoluene, whose physicochemical properties are very similar to diesel. The chemical storage of hydrogen in the LOHC makes it possible to store it under ambient pressure (p = 1 bar) and at a normal temperature (T = 20 °C). Another advantage is that the stored hydrogen is not volatile and, therefore, it cannot self-discharge. The LOHC can be charged and discharged with hydrogen as often as needed.

LOHC value chain

Hydrogenation of the LOHC

The energy storage solutions from H2-Industries work by charging (hydrogenation) and discharging (dehydrogenation) the LOHC, whereby the charging and discharging are two independent processes. The special catalyst technology developed in collaboration with one of the leading research institutes in the field – the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis (LIKAT) – is of particular importance.
The chemical process for storing hydrogen in the LOHC is performed under pressure. This allows an electrolyser to deliver the hydrogen directly, rendering additional energy-intensive compression unnecessary. The chemical reaction in which the hydrogen is bound in the LOHC takes place in a hydrogenation unit with a bed of porous noble metal catalysts and metered LOHC. This exothermic reaction heat releases heat, which is further utilised in downstream processes. Finally, the hydrogen-charged LOHC+ (perhydro-dibenzyltoluene) is pumped into the storage tank.

Dehydrogenation of the LOHC

The hydrogen in the charged LOHC+ is recovered at a temperature of 250 to 300 degrees Celsius. This endothermic reaction requires heat, which is provided within the reaction process. The release process takes place in a dehydrogenation unit with a catalyst. Here, the chemical bond between the energy source and the hydrogen is once again released. The hydrogen is removed from the reactor as a gas and converted directly into electricity in a fuel cell. The discharged LOHC- (dibenzyltoluene) is stored in a tank until it is needed again. The LOHC cycle is closed.
One litre of LOHC stores one kilowatt hour of electricity and one kilowatt hour of thermal energy in the form of hydrogen. Reconversion via a fuel cell makes the electrical energy available once again. The advantages of the LOHC technology from H2-Industries are impressive. It is safe and environmentally friendly, has unlimited storage capacity, and is rechargeable and stable for long periods of time. It is also compatible with the existing infrastructure and its price is unrivalled: the electricity-to-electricity storage price will be 3.5 cents.
In combination with wind or solar energy systems, the LOHC technology from H2-Industries will ensure the energy transition is safe, as it makes renewable energy baseload capable.