Hydrogen is at the centre of most European government’s plans to net a zero-emission economy; it will therefore be vital in achieving a successful energy transmission. However, it is indisputable that the most abundant element found in the universe has yet to overcome many challenges to become a significant contributing factor in the energy transition. Amongst these issues, hydrogen storage and refuelling remain fundamental challenges within the transport sector, A special form of hydrogen, namely hydrogen CRYOGAS, could deliver possible alternatives.
How to tackle hydrogen’s challenges?
Luckily, companies, especially startups like the Cryomotive GmbH, have endeavored to solve these challenges. The disruptive startup specializes in hydrogen storage and refuelling technologies based on CRYOGAS. Their technology aims at creating a cleaner and greener future by creating green hydrogen storage and refuelling platforms.
The invention of a new fuel type – Cryogas
But how is Cryomotive different in their approach? They want to fill vehicles with CRYOGAS (CcH2), originating from bulk liquid hydrogen storage by means of cryogenic compression. As with all hydrogen, it has to go through one of the many possible production processes. The startup plans to use green hydrogen that is produced through electrolysis using renewable energies (solar & wind) and desalinized seawater.
In the next step, hydrogen is liquified and transported by ship carriers powered by the same fuel to Europe. Once securely brought to land, liquefied hydrogen trailers will bring the energy carrier to Germany, distributed to various hydrogen vehicle applications. The best thing? It is clean hydrogen at a competitive cost!
What do the experts say about this?
According to Christian Forstner, CTO of Cryomotive, “The ideas and system solutions of Cryomotive, are able to improve the economic efficiency of hydrogen storage and transport and will thus help hydrogen commercial vehicles achieve a breakthrough. We are convinced that in the future, in addition to the short-term storage of electricity in batteries, hydrogen will play a major role as an energy carrier for the international energy and fuel trade sector and, above all, as a fuel.”
How is Cryogas different?
For one, CRYOGAS (very cold – cryogenic – hydrogen gas) has a volumetric storage density of more than 1.2 kWh/L, which is above the U.S Department of Energy’s (DOE) hydrogen storage target of 1 kWh/L. If measured in kWh/kg, it is more than twofold the DOEs target. When comparing this to battery storage solutions, it is ten times lighter!
A conventional fossil fuel-powered truck emits approximately 900 grams of CO2 per kilometre, whereas a truck fueled by cryogas does not emit more than 10 grams of CO2 per kilometre. If all trucks were fueled using green Hydrogen CRYOGAS, the world would reduce its heavy vehicle transport emissions by over 80%!
What about the costs?
Of course, the first question that comes to everyone’s mind is the costs. The refuelling station itself costs less than half of high-pressure gaseous hydrogen stations (<0.5€/kg). With low-cost renewable energy as an input source, the cryogas will also deliver low-cost fuel. On top of that, it is safe and fast to refuel too!
Finally, a Hydrogen CRYOGAS truck refills in under 10 minutes, which is not much longer than diesel-fueled trucks.
How long until Cryogas is reality?
With plans to demonstrate the prototype in 2023, the waiting will not be that much longer. Serial production is targeted to start between 2024 and 2025.
Cryogenic hydrogen is nothing new. It was initially developed by Dr. Tobias Brunner in his former role at BMW and is now set to reign the world of commercial vehicle applications, soon to steal the crown from diesel.
“We must finally succeed in decarbonizing traffic. Not only for us, but also for our coming generations! “
Dr. Christiane Heyer, Managing Director and CFO of Cryomotive GmbH