TransHyDE: Aquaportus in the Helgoland implementation project

Copyright: Jakob Martens

November 2022

AquaPortus in the TransHyDE implementation project Helgoland

The basic principles of AquaPortus are being researched and developed via the TransHyDE implementation project Helgoland. For this purpose, nine project partners from science and industry have networked with the island of Helgoland to advance the establishment of a hydrogen transport chain from the offshore area in the Schleswig-Holstein coastal sea via the ports to the hydrogen consumers on the mainland. The focus is on the safe and flexible transport of green hydrogen produced at sea in the form of LOHC.

How should the transport chain work in principle?

As soon as the green hydrogen produced at sea reaches the island of Helgoland via pipeline, it is bound to LOHC - specifically the thermal oil benzyltoluene - in a hydrogenation plant. In this liquid carrier, it is transported by ship to Hamburg and made available to hydrogen consumers. The research and development phase for the technical and logistical details of this transport chain is expected to last until 2024/2025. As early as 2026, some of the green hydrogen could be safely processed, stored, transported and shipped on Helgoland.

What's behind LOHC technology?

LOHC stands for "Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier". The hydrogen molecules are chemically bonded to the carrier material by hydrogenation and can be transported without loss. Dehydrogenation releases the hydrogen again to make it usable for customers. Benzyltoluene is particularly suitable as a carrier because it is flame retardant and non-explosive. Its handling works under ambient conditions, allowing the use of existing liquid fuels infrastructure for storage and transportation. In addition, this oil can bind hydrogen several hundred times, similar to a deposit system.

The partners of the TransHyDE implementation project Helgoland

The project team includes: the municipality of Helgoland, Versorgungsbetriebe Helgoland GmbH (VBH), Hafenprojektgesellschaft Helgoland mbH (HGH), Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies GmbH, Tewis Projektmanagement GmbH (TePM), GASCADE Gastransport GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM, and Cruh21 GmbH. Supplementary information on AquaPortus as part of the AquaVentus initiative can be found at www.aquaventus.org.

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