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Tamed Hydrogen

Researchers from Jülich and Erlangen nominated for German Future Prize 2018 („Deutscher Zukunftspreis 2018“).

Jülich / Erlangen, 12 September 2018 - Prof. Peter Wasserscheid, Director of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energies (HI ERN), a branch of the Research Centre Jülich, together with Prof. Wolfgang Arlt and Dr. Daniel Teichmann from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), have been nominated for the German Future Prize 2018. The three scientists are founders of the company Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH. The nomination recognizes the pioneering research and development achievements of the researchers in the field of harmless hydrogen storage and its successful commercial implementation as a contribution to a sustainable energy system. The German Future Prize will be awarded in Berlin on 28 November 2018 following a decision by the jury of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Hydrogen - Energy Carrier of the Future

Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid, Director of Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energies (HI ERN)Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid, Director of Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energies (HI ERN)
Copyright: Ansgar Pudenz / Deutscher Zukunftspreis

Hydrogen is becoming increasingly important in a CO2-free energy system. In terms of its weight, hydrogen is almost three times as energy-rich as gasoline; it can be burned directly or converted into electric power in fuel cells, thus serving as an emission-free fuel for tomorrow's mobility. And it could become the decisive factor in balancing the weather- and daytime-dependent generation capacity of photovoltaic or wind power plants with efficient storage technologies and global energy logistics.

But hydrogen is not an unproblematic gas: it is highly explosive and must be cooled to temperatures below -250 °C for storage and transport in liquid form or alternatively handled as a gas under extremely high pressure of up to 700 bar to ensure sufficient energy density per volume. If hydrogen is to be made available nationwide under these conditions, a complex and very expensive new infrastructure would have to be created.

LOHC for safe hydrogen transport

To use hydrogen instead of petroleum products and to fall back on existing distribution structures: This vision is pursuing by the three nominated scientists. Peter Wasserscheid, who also holds the Chair of Chemical Reaction Engineering at FAU, Wolfgang Arlt, former holder of the Chair of Thermal Process Engineering at FAU, as well as, FAU Alumnus and Hydrogenious Managing Director Dr. Daniel Teichmann have found a way to bind hydrogen to a non-explosive and non-toxic carrier liquid and release it again if necessary. The carrier substance remains as a "liquid deposit bottle" and can be reloaded at any time.

The so-called LOHC technology (liquid organic hydrogen carrier) thus enables the efficient and completely safe storage of hydrogen - not only as a fuel in regional transport networks, but also for the loss-free global transport of renewable energies, for example from sparsely populated regions with good conditions for high-yield wind power or solar plants in densely populated and highly industrialized regions.

Nominated for the German Future Prize 2018

Nominated Team for the German Future Prize 2018Nominated Team for the German Future Prize 2018: Form left to right: Prof. Wolfgang Arlt (former holder of the Chair of Thermal Process Engineering at FAU), Prof. Peter Wasserscheid (Director of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energies (HI ERN) and holder of the Chair of Chemical Reaction Engineering at FAU) and FAU Alumnus and Hydrogenious Managing Director Dr. Daniel Teichmann.
Copyright: Ansgar Pudenz / Deutscher Zukunftspreis

Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH has already received several awards for the groundbreaking development of LOHC technology, including the Innovation Prize of German Industry (“Innovationspreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft”), the “Energy Transition Award” of the German Energy Agency and the Bavarian Founders' Prize (“Bayerischen Gründerpreis”). The nominations of the scientists from Erlangen and Jülich for the Federal President's Prize for Technology and Innovation were officially announced today by the Office of the Federal President at a presentation in the German Museum (“Deutschen Museum”) in Munich.

"The German Future Prize is awarded for outstanding achievements in the field of technology and innovation," says Peter Wasserscheid, representing the entire Hydrogenious team. "Already the nomination is a very great distinction and appreciation of our work. It would of course be great if the jury decided in favor of our project in November."

In addition to Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH, two other teams from Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia are candidates for the 250.000 € German Future Prize. They were nominated for innovative work in the fields of design and manufacturing, as well as, medical drug research. Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will present the German Future Prize 2018 at a festive gala on 28 November in the presence of all nominees.

The Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH

Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH was founded in 2013 as a spin-off of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg with the aim to bring the LOHC technology to market maturity. Partnerships with Anglo American, Clariant, Sasol, MAN and Broad Ocean Motors have provided Hydrogenious Technologies with strong scientific, strategic and financial resources. The company employs 65 people and is headquartered in Erlangen, Germany. Hydrogenious Technologies is a global pioneer in Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) hydrogen storage technologies and builds process plants for industrial hydrogen logistics and filling stations based on LOHC technology.

The German Future Prize

The courage to think and implement something new - that is the motto of the German Future Prize, which was launched some 20 years ago. Every year, the Federal President awards the prize to excellent scientific innovations that develop economic potential and create jobs at the same time. The German Future Prize is endowed with 250.000 €.

Further information

Contact Person

Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Director Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg
Phone: 09131 85-20843

Dr. Susanne Spörler
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH
Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg / Scientific Coordinator
Phone: 09131 85-20249

Press Contact

Annette Stettien
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH / Press Officer
Phone: 02461 61-2388

Additional Information