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07-03-2022 | Companies + Institutions | News | Article

Schaeffler to Develop LOHC Fuel Cell with Partners

Author: Patrick Schäfer

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Schaeffler is cooperating with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies and the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energies. Together, they are developing a fuel cell for liquid organic hydrogen carriers. 

Automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler is expanding its hydrogen strategy to include so-called Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC). To this end, the company has signed a cooperation agreement with Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies and the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energies (HIERN). Together, the partners want to develop a hydrogen fuel cell that is operated with liquid organic hydrogen carrier.  

For the project, Schaeffler is working with the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg to develop fuel cell technology for the direct use of hydrogen bound in LOHC. Schaeffler also manufactures the bipolar plates. The catalysts and membranes are being developed at the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg. The partners see the use of LOHC fuel cells as a supplement to the usual hydrogen storage systems with high-pressure tanks or in liquid gas storage tanks.

LOHC to simplify fuel cell operation

Hydrogenious’ process uses benzyltoluene, an oil-like organic substance that chemically binds the hydrogen. As a result, it can be transported under normal ambient conditions, allowing inexpensive and safe supply to mobile and stationary energy consumers. The liquid carrier material can be used multiple times, making it particularly sustainable. "With its properties, LOHC technology based on benzyltoluene enables a safe and cost-effective hydrogen infrastructure – from storage to transport to use", says Professor Dr.-Ing. Tim Hosenfeldt, Head of Research & Innovation and Central Technologies at Schaeffler AG.


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