Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies and Johannes Østensjø dy AS have formed a joint venture company, Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime AS, to develop and market emissions-free propulsion systems for the global shipping market
The companies plan to exploit liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) technology, organic oil loaded with hydrogen, as first exclusively revealed by OWJ in March 2021. They aim to have a megawatt-scale, commercial product ready by 2025.
The LOHC technology binds hydrogen to an LOHC and is a safe, low-cost technology. Enova, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, is to support the joint venture’s initial project, HyNjord, to the tune of €2.5M (US$3.0M).
Germany-based Hydrogenious LOHC Technology developed and patented the LOHC technology, which is a process of loading hydrogen in a thermal oil and releasing it where and when it is needed.
When stored in thermal oil in this way, the hydrogen is not inflammable or explosive, which makes it a safe, easy and efficient way of storing and transporting hydrogen, which can be used onboard in a fuel cell.
“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 existing fossil fuel infrastructure, “ the companies said.
“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, and enables a vessel to store 2-3 times more energy than compressed hydrogen.”
Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies founder and chief executive Dr Daniel Teichmann said, “Our technology is very suitable for maritime use. We are very happy to have found the ideal partner in the Østensjø Group, which is well established not only in Norway and internationally and sees LOHC as a game-changer for the decarbonisation of shipping.”
Østensjø investment director Håvard Framnes said the company is committed to the energy transition and to find ways to reduce emissions from shipping. “Of all the potential zero-emissions technologies, we find LOHC the most promising,” he explained. “That is why we have prepared all six service operation vessels under construction for our subsidiary Edda Wind for LOHC-based propulsion.
“Safety is very important and the fact that we can use existing fuel infrastructure and are able to use familiar fuelling procedures on our vessels is of great importance. In addition, we can easily carry enough energy on board to operate normally, for up to four weeks, without refueling.”
The joint venture has an exclusive worldwide licence agreement with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies for maritime use of the technology.
Enova will fund the development of a 200 kW pilot LOHC/fuel cell propulsion project in which the hydrogen stored in the LOHC is used to power the fuel cell.
The project will focus on the development and integration of three core elements of an onboard system: the LOHC release unit, which releases hydrogen from the liquid organic carrier on demand on the ship; the fuel cell; and an interface to the ship’s power management system.
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