Wiki - All about hydrogen

Updated on 1 July 2024

LOHC Hydrogen

LOHC hydrogen is hydrogen that is dissolved from a liquid organic carrier used for transportation.

Background #

The transition to renewable energy is crucial in addressing climate change and securing a sustainable future. Among various energy carriers, hydrogen stands out due to its high energy density and potential for zero-emission energy. However, one of the significant challenges with hydrogen is its storage and transportation. Traditional methods, such as compressed gas or cryogenic liquid storage, pose certain risks and logistical challenges. This is where Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHCs) come into play, offering a promising solution for efficient and safe hydrogen management.

LOHCs are organic compounds that can reversibly absorb and release hydrogen through chemical reactions. These carriers typically consist of aromatic compounds such as toluene, which can be hydrogenated to methylcyclohexane. This process of hydrogenation stores hydrogen within the LOHC, and dehydrogenation releases it when needed. One of the key advantages of LOHC technology is that it allows hydrogen being stored and transported at ambient temperature and pressure, significantly reducing the risks and costs associated with conventional hydrogen storage methods. Companies like Hydrogenious have pioneered early applications.

Technology benefits #

The use of LOHCs brings several benefits. First, the safety aspect is paramount. Unlike compressed hydrogen gas or liquid hydrogen, LOHCs are non-explosive and non-flammable under standard conditions. This makes them safer for handling, storage, and transport, reducing the risks of accidents. Second, the infrastructure for LOHCs is compatible with existing fuel logistics systems. This means that current pipelines, tankers, and storage facilities can be utilized with minimal modifications, facilitating a smoother transition to a hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide may be the most important gases for the energy future.
LOHC being transported in a tube

Moreover, LOHC technology can be highly efficient. The process of hydrogenation and dehydrogenation can be repeated multiple times without significant degradation of the carrier material, making it a sustainable option. The energy density of LOHCs is also comparable to traditional fuels, enabling long-distance transportation of hydrogen without significant losses. This makes LOHCs particularly suitable for large-scale industrial applications and cross-border hydrogen trade.

Challenges #

Despite its potential, LOHC technology is not without challenges. The hydrogenation and dehydrogenation processes require catalysts and specific conditions, which can be energy-intensive. Ongoing research aims to improve the efficiency of these processes, reduce costs, and develop more effective catalysts.

In conclusion, liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) represent a breakthrough in hydrogen storage and transportation technology. By offering a safer, more efficient, and economically viable solution, LOHCs can play a crucial role in the global shift towards a sustainable hydrogen economy. As research and development continue, the widespread adoption of LOHC technology could revolutionize how we store, transport, and utilize hydrogen, paving the way for a cleaner, greener future.

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