The Institute of Chemical Engineering and Environmental Technology at Graz University of Technology, one of the leading institutes for hydrogen research, has devised a technology that makes usable hydrogen for propulsion activities. The project study titled HyStORM (Hydrogen Storage via Oxidation and Reduction of Metals), undertaken by a team lead by Viktor Hacker, developed a new technology for the production of hydrogen in an eco-friendly and extremely cost-efficient way. This process is referred to as the ‘chemical-looping hydrogen method.’ The research resulted in a compact device that was an on-site, on-demand (OSOD) system useful for energy plants and filling stations. The system is being developed and distributed by Graz-based Rouge H2 Engineering, a start-up that focuses on clean hydrogen mobility & production solutions and infrastructure development. The system will play a crucial role in the accessibility of sustainable hydrogen.
The OSOD system is a hydrogen generator that has an integrated storage device in one system, and produces hydrogen by converting biomass, biogas, or natural gas into a ‘syngas.’ Emissions in the air are primarily released either by vehicles or production plants. Therefore, by supplying a renewable and sustainable source of energy to carry out all these operations, the research team aims to reduce emissions and boost the transmission to eco-friendly and greener fuels. At present, hydrogen is mainly made using fossil fuel, which has proven to be expensive and economically unfeasible. However, with this new technology, the production of usable hydrogen can be done without using fossil fuels and in a cost-effective way.
In this process, biogas or natural gas is converted into syngas to produce hydrogen, and the energy is stored in a metal oxide using the redox process, ensuring that there is no loss in transportation. The OSOD system is also freely scalable and is apt for decentralized applications. It has low feed-in rates in laboratories and small industrial systems as well as large decentralized units viz., hydrogen production from biogas, and filling stations.