Germany-based Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies and Norway’s Johannes Østensjø have founded the joint venture company Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime. The aim is to develop and market emission-free propulsion systems for the global shipping market based on liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC).
The company is aiming to have a megawatt scale commercial product ready by 2025. By binding the hydrogen to the LOHC, this will be a particularly safe and low-cost technology. Enova, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment has announced support for the joint venture’s initial project HyNjord with NOK 26m (€2.5m).
LOHC is an organic oil loaded with hydrogen. Hydrogenious LOHC Technology has developed and patented the LOHC technology, which is a process of loading hydrogen in a thermal oil as well as releasing it where and when it’s needed. An important challenge for using hydrogen in shipping is safety. LOHC is claimed to solve this, as it is neither inflammable nor explosive. This makes the technology a particularly safe, easy and efficient way of storing and transporting hydrogen.
This is expected to revolutionise the supply chain for hydrogen, as LOHC can be used to store and transport large quantities of hydrogen under ambient conditions, using the already existing fossil fuel infrastructure. The carrier oil – Benzyltoluene – can be loaded and unloaded with hydrogen many hundreds of times and is recyclable many times over. The energy density of LOHC is also favourable, as a vessel can store 2-3 times more energy compared to compressed hydrogen.
“Our technology is very suitable for maritime use. It is optimal for us to bring our stationary systems, not first on the road, but sensibly on the water. Thus, we are very happy to have found the ideal partner in the Østensjø Group. The Østensjø Group, which is well established not only in Norway but also internationally, has seen LOHC as the game changer for the decarbonisation of shipping for some time”, commented Dr Daniel Teichmann, CEO and founder of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies.
“The Østensjø Group is committed to take part of the energy transition and to find ways to cut emissions. Of all the potential zero-emission technologies, we find LOHC the most promising one. That is why we have prepared all six service operation vessels under construction in our subsidiary, Edda Wind, for LOHC-based propulsion. Safety is of course very important for us in these evaluations. However, the fact that we can use existing fuel infrastructure and are able to use familiar fuelling procedures is of importance. In addition, we can easily carry enough energy onboard our vessels in order to operate in normal intervals of up to four weeks without refuelling”, said Håvard Framnes, Investment Director in Østensjø.
The joint venture has an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies for maritime use of the technology. “Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime will make our proprietary LOHC technology available for onboard solutions for sustainable maritime traffic”, commented Dr Teichmann.
“In Østensjø, we are very excited about this joint venture and the cooperation with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies. We believe the technology provided by the joint venture can be suitable for most shipping segments, which makes the market potential huge for the company”, said Framnes.
Enova SF has decided to fund the development of a 200 kw pilot of the LOHC/fuel cell propulsion system – the focus of the first joint venture project HyNjord. The planned application will integrate three core components on-board: The LOHC Release Unit, which releases hydrogen from the liquid organic carrier Benzyltoluene on demand on the ship, as well as a fuel cell and an interface to the ship’s power management system.
“We see a need to develop technologies for the use of various zero-emission energy carriers. LOHC will be a new alternative to compressed and fluid hydrogen, and the different energy carriers will probably have different advantages and areas of application. The HyNjord LOHC-project will give us valuable information in order to contribute for hydrogen to become a real alternative to fossile fuels”, said Øyvind Leistad, Marketing Director in Enova.