Hydrogen Supply and Transportation using Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers

The Goals

The HySTOC project has the primary objective to demonstrate the feasibility of the Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology for distribution and storage of hydrogen to supply Hydrogen Refuelling Stations (HRS). This project will also facilitate international learning and cooperation in the field of hydrogen distribution.

The goal is to establish and test an efficient hydrogen value chain in Finland, from production (Kokkola site, partner company Oy Woikoski AB) to use in the mobility sector via an HRS.

The LOHC technology of the German Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies GmbH and its plant systems based on it are the linking component. By connecting the hydrogen to the liquid carrier material, it can be easily and safely transported to any customer using conventional logistics for liquid fuels at ambient conditions and released from the carrier on site. With the so-called Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) of the project partner HyGear, the hydrogen released from the LOHC is purified to hydrogen fuel standards, for refuelling cars or trucks with fuel cell engines. As scientific research partners in HySTOC the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the German Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (Chair of Chemical Reactor Technology) will accompany the project accordingly.

Information graphic HySTOC LOHC Concept, © HySTOCInformation graphic HySTOC LOHC Concept, © HySTOC

Hydrogen is the most tangible path towards providing a renewable fuel that combines easy and quick refuelling with long ranges even for large cars, trucks and busses. Therefore, hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that will allow the EU to accomplish its strategic targets of zero-emission mobility, integration of renewables and the decarbonisation of industry.

Although hydrogen is currently nearly exclusively produced from natural gas, it can be produced renewably by splitting water via electrolysis, making it abundantly available. However, its low density and explosive nature make hydrogen storage and transport technically challenging, inefficient and comparably expensive.

The LOHC-technology provides several advantages to overcome these issues and therefore to support hydrogen mobility targets within Horizon 2020.   

High transport capacity
Up to 5x higher transport capacity per 40-to truck compared to 200 bar tube trailers and up to 3x higher compared to 500 bar tube trailers

Low transport cost
LOHC reduces operating costs of hydrogen logistics by up to 80%. Potential use of standard oil tank infrastructure reduces investment costs significantly

Easy road transport
The LOHC of choice in the HySTOC project is dibenzyltoluene (DBT), which is classified as a non-hazardous good according to ADR. Handling of hydrogen bound to LOHC can be done at ambient conditions.

High safety
As the hydrogen is chemically bound, no molecular hydrogen has to be stored. The carrier material (DBT) is hardly flammable and non-explosive, allowing storage of large amounts of hydrogen at existing refuelling stations