Should inland freighters use hydrogen?

Should inland freighters use hydrogen?

Should inland freighters use hydrogen?

Portliner from the Netherlands and H2 Industries from Munich are planning electric cargo ships with burnable batteries. But establishing e-propulsion in the shipment is a tedious affair.

While the first electric car ferries are already moving through some fjords in Norway, electromobility in maritime transport in Europe remains a vision of the future. Ton van Meegen wants to change that. The Dutch entrepreneur has been planning battery-powered freighters since 2017. Now he is expanding his concept with the hydrogen energy source.

In early September, Van Meegen’s Portliner teamed up with German hydrogen plant manufacturer LOHC H2-Industries. Its technology unites hydrogen (H2) in the oil mixture dibenciltoluene – LOHC means “liquid organic hydrogen carrier”. With this type of liquid storage, hydrogen can be stored and transported more economically and safely than in conventional high-pressure gas tanks. On board the Portliner ships, the H2 will be released from the oil and provide drive energy for the electric motors through the burnable cell. (Also read: Hydrogen: German hydrogen technology begins in the United States)

The luxury hydrogen fuel cell yacht

H2 Industries has agreed on a comparable project with the Rendsburger Nobiskrug shipyard in August: the two companies want to develop a hydrogen-powered yacht, using the LOHC process. Nobiskrug builds so-called superyachts, especially large and luxurious an engine yachts.

Portliner CEO van Meegen tempts LOHC with its long range compared to batteries, and the hydrogen replenishment process, which is comparative to refueling with conventional ignitable diesel. Stakes of the cooperation with H2 Industries, planned its e-charger solely on the basis of battery: ships must carry their batteries in four containers. To charge it, either ocean replacing the container or charging the batteries on board.

Infrastructure has problems

The shipowner, who sold his conventional cargo ships in 2014 and founded Portliner, is living up to his plans. Building a freight infrastructure and negotiating child electricity supply contracts obviously more complicated than expected: “I imagined this two years ago time easier,” says van Meegen in an interview with bizz vitality magazine. A single e-charger requires a daily energy production of ten megawatts. “The loading of stories amounts is difficult in German, Belgian and Dutch ports. Without ban, van Meegen trusts that the first Portliner battery-powered freighters will leave in 2019. He says he is discussing electricity purchases with several European utilities.

Building the boats themselves is, in the words of van Meegens, the easiest part. No roughage nothing new in principle. We know how it works. As a shipowner, the contractor had about 40 conventional cargo ships built in Dutch shipyards. He wants to start building a prototype battery prototype as soon as an electricity supply contract is negotiated.

Everything fits in these containers

The LOHC systems will now become a second unit variant for the Portliner ships. According to company founder Michael Stusch, H2 Industries’ technology will include the entire chain from producing hydrogen by electrolysis to loading the carrier liquid with hydrogen and dissolving it in the ship until it is vaporized in an on-board burnable cell. It can be accommodated in cargo containers.

Without a ban, Stusch cannot yet propose a sophisticated LOHC system that can be installed for ships. According to him, H2 Industries is building a mass production line for multifunctional LOHC plants. “Our goal is the mass market,” says Stusch. Performance systems should not be used for mobility, but also, for example, in buildings. According to the company, a pilot plant is already running in a residential building in Austria.

Shipping Contaminant

LOHC could also be suitable for trains. The Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energies is investigating an appropriate installation. This is to equip the hydrogen train Coradia iLint from railway technology supplier Alstom. (Also read: Researchers plan hydrogen fuel cell trains with “liquid tank bottle”)

In maritime transport, alternative propulsion systems, such as hydrogen fuel cells, are becoming increasingly interesting. Conventional fuels, especially for marine vessels, child much cheaper for operators. But child extremely harmful to the environment and health. Public pressure on the industry is increasing. Therefore, some shipping companies are beginning to equip individual ships with liquefied natural gas units. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) releases fewer pollutants and less carbon dioxide when burned than heavy fuel or marine diesel.

In Norway, where green electricity from hydropower abounds, the first purely electrically powered car ferries, such as the ships of the Fjord 1 shipping company in Nordfjord.


One Comments

  1. Bill says:

    This blog Should inland freighters use hydrogen? helps me a lot with my battery problems. Kiss you all!

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