LOHC Process Engineering
In order to contribute to the disruptive transformation of our energy system, our goal is to optimize the LOHC technology readiness and economics of hydrogen storage using LOHCs. We are focusing on goals relevant to large-scale hydrogen storage using LOHC. To achieve these goals, we are working on the optimization of the LOHC process. In this context, we focus our research on the fundamental quality of the organic carrier molecule and the stability of the heterogeneous catalyst with respect to
- lifetime of the LOHC-fluid and catalyst
- development of analytics to estimate LOHC degradation
- development of strategies and processes to purify used LOHC
- process strategies to operate continuous reactors
- demonstration of large-scale hydrogen storage via LOHC
The focus of our research team is to optimize the overall process of hydrogen storage using LOHC technology. Our research focus is to elucidate the influence of the quality of the LOHC fluid and hydrogen on the performance of hydrogenation and dehydrogenation. Here, we focus on the LOHC fluid benzyltoluene/perhydrobenzyltoluene. The productivity, selectivity and stability in hydrogenation and dehydrogenation are performance indicators, since the parameters essentially define the economics of hydrogen storage. Hydrogenation and dehydrogenation can be performed with very high selectivity, but not perfect selectivity. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate and evaluate whether and how the formation of impurities can affect the physical and chemical properties of the LOHC fluid and the performance in the LOHC process. In addition, impurities are present in the technical heat transfer fluid serving as LOHC fluid and may be formed during storage and transportation of the fluid.
Therefore, we are intensively studying the structural composition and quantification of potential by-products using standard and advanced analytical techniques such as HPLC, GC, EA, MS, APPI, etc. In addition, we are interested in monitoring the impact of these by-products on the LOHC process and establishing tailored separation procedures that are practical at laboratory scale and economical at industrial scale. In this context, a particular focus is on the use of adsorption technologies to economically remove small amounts of impurities from the LOHC fluid. Here, we examine the basic suitability of commercial adsorption materials in the LOHC process and develop customized adsorption materials as needed. In a further step, basic design parameters for an industrial adsorption process are determined.
Another focus of our team is the operation of continuous hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactors. The central research questions are the stability of the reactor operation and the investigation of the influence of by-products on the reactor performance. The influence of by-products on performance will be incorporated into the development of adsorbent materials in order to selectively remove the interfering materials.
The overall goal is to develop operating strategies and process routines for large-scale use of LOHC technology. The developed operating strategies and process routines can be tested in a stationary hydrogen storage system based on LOHC technology at the research campus in Jülich. As part of the "Living Lab Energy Campus" project, a so-called "One Reactor" in the 300 kW power class will be set up and operated at the research campus in Jülich. Further information can be found on the project website "Living Lab Energy Campus".
Dr.-Ing. Michael Geißelbrecht
Building HIERN-Dr.-Mack-Str 77 / Room n.N.