HHLA and Port Mukran are supporting the hydrogen transport research project

2023/06/14 at 10:12 AM

In the TransHyDE project Mukran, six partner organisations from industry and academia develop new spherical storage systems for hydrogen. The project is part of the hydrogen flagship projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

How can volatile hydrogen molecules be stored and transported on ships, rails and roads? This question is being addressed by six partner companies under the leadership of the Gas- und Wärme-Institut Essen (GWI) in the TransHyDE project Mukran. The consortium investigates and develops new types of containers in the field of high-pressure hydrogen storage and decentralised, trimodal hydrogen distribution – in other words, the hydrogen container should be able to be transported by lorry, ship and train. This enables a decentralised supply to consumers far away from the pipeline network, emphasises Janina Senner, network coordinator of the TransHyDE project Mukran from GWI. “To secure the future supply situation, it is important to test further transport routes of gaseous hydrogen outside the pipeline network. The best way to do this in a decentralised way via a trimodal transportation concept using water, rail and road.”

The aim of the project is to implement and demonstrate the entire process chain from container development and prototype manufacture to a mobile storage unit suitable for road, rail and ship transport. To this end, the project partners, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP Research Unit Polymer Materials and Composites PYCO and the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg (BTU) Department of Polymer-Based Lightweight Construction, develop two spherical accumulator variants with different material compositions under the direction of Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Holger Seidlitz.

In the first spherical storage vessel, a combination of a steel liner with an outer skin made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) is developed. In the second spherical storage vessel, two different steels are used. Here, high-strength alloys, new types of material-appropriate manufacturing processes as well as rule-based optimisation strategies are the innovation drivers and guarantee safety at high operating pressures despite minimised wall thicknesses. The partners expect decisive advantages from the choice of materials: on the one hand, cost savings that make the spherical storage vessels competitive, and on the other hand, a longer service life and improved recyclability.

In order to make the new types of hydrogen storage mobile, it is planned to install them in standardised container formats. To do this, however, a frame must first be developed that keeps the spherical storage units stable within the container during transportation. This is also the task of the two research organisations. In cooperation with the Sassnitz ferry port “Mukran Port” on the island of Rügen and the European logistics company Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), they discuss the requirements for transport as well as the filling and removal of the hydrogen. These steps will then be tested in practice at HHLA’s facilities in Hamburg and at Port Mukran. In order to also consider the results of the trimodal transportation of gaseous hydrogen throughout Germany, different transport options are examined in more detail in a model at GWI. The strategic project consultancy cruh21 is responsible for disseminating the results and finding suitable investors.

The entire project is funded with around 19 million Euros by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and is part of the lead project TransHyDE. The project partners are  Gas- und Wärme-Institut Essen e.V. (GWI), Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus – Senftenberg (BTU), Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research (IAP), the port operator Mukran Port (Fährhafen Sassnitz GmbH), Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and the independent consultancy cruh21 GmbH.

The hydrogen flagship projects are the largest research initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research on the subject of the energy transition to date. In the three flagship projects, industry and academia are jointly develop solutions for the German hydrogen economy: serial production of large-scale electrolysers (H2Giga), production of hydrogen at sea (H2Mare) and technologies for the transportation of hydrogen (TransHyDE).

The flagship project TransHyDE develops, evaluates and tests hydrogen transport solutions. A hydrogen economy cannot function without a suitable transport infrastructure, so four transport technologies are to be advanced in demonstration projects: (1) hydrogen transportation in high-pressure containers, (2) hydrogen-liquid transportation, (3) hydrogen transportation in existing and new gas pipelines, and (4) transportation of hydrogen bound in ammonia or the carrier medium LOHC.

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