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Chemical Hydrogen Storage

The “Chemical Hydrogen Storage” research unit of HI ERN targets new chemical hydrogen storage technologies, related catalytic processes and material technologies. Examples are the modification of electrocatalysts with ionic liquids or hydrogen storage using Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) systems. The LOHC technologies allow large amounts of hydrogen with high volumetric energy density for infrastructure-compatible storage and transport of . The research unit is led by Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid. The research at HI ERN naturally extents existing research activities of his FAU group, for example towards direct LOHC fuel cell and electrolysis technologies.

Storage and transport of hydrogen by reversible catalytic hydrogenation/dehydrogenation of dibenzyltoluene/perhydro-dibenzyltolueneScheme: Storage and transport of hydrogen by reversible catalytic hydrogenation/dehydrogenation of dibenzyltoluene/perhydro-dibenzyltoluene

The Scheme shows reversible hydrogen binding/release using these pure hydrocarbon LOHC compounds. During hydrogenation, H0-DBT is loaded with up to 6.2 wt% hydrogen corresponding to an energy content of 2.05 kWh kg-1. The energy-rich molecule H18-DBT is a high boiling liquid that can be stored in typical fuel tank for a long time without loss in energy. Molecular hydrogen can be released from H18-DBT by contact with a suitable catalyst at elevated temperature.

Selected publications:

Selected equipment:

  • High-pressure high-temperature batch autoclave for LOHC hydrogenation / dehydrogenation experiments
  • Laboratory plant for continuous dehydrogenation experiments e.g. catalyst screening and kinetic measurements
  • Fuel cell setup for testing different organic substances as fuels
  • Analysis of gaseous substances:

    • Gas chromatography for trace analysis of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, low boiling aromatic compounds and hydrocarbons in hydrogen
    • On-line FTIR spectroscopy for hydrogen purity analysis
  • Analysis of liquid substances:

    • Gas chromatography for stability studies of organic hydrogen carrier substances
    • DART-MS


  • Dr. Peter Pfeiffer, Prof. Roland Dittmeyer (KIT, Germany)
  • Prof. Regina Palkovits, Prof. Walter Leitner (RWTH Aachen)

Additional Information