Hydrogen

On the road to sustainability: hydrogen and electrolysis as the key to the energy transition

Climate-neutral hydrogen plays a decisive role in the switch to sustainable energy sources.

About hydrogen

Hydrogen as a sustainable fuel

Climate-neutral hydrogen, produced using environmentally friendly electrolysis processes, is a sustainable alternative for decarbonising sectors that are difficult to electrify. Particularly in areas where the direct use of electricity is not practicable, climate-neutral hydrogen can help to reduce emissions by replacing fossil fuels.

Hydrogen as a raw material

Hydrogen has been used in large quantities as a raw material for various chemical processes for many years. For example, enormous quantities are used worldwide for the production of ammonia, methanol or as a reducing agent.

At present, this hydrogen is almost exclusively obtained from fossil natural gas in a CO₂-intensive reforming process.

Hydrogen as a storage

Hydrogen and its derivatives, such as ammonia and methanol, offer a reliable way of storing and transporting surplus renewable electricity in large quantities and over long periods of time.  
 
Hydrogen can be stored in gaseous form under high pressure, in liquid form at low temperatures or in bound form in solids or liquids.

Depending on the distance and form, it is transported either by pipeline, ship or overland. In Europe in particular, the expansion of a nationwide hydrogen pipeline network is a very high priority.

Electrolysis: the key technology for climate-neutral hydrogen

Electrolysis is the process of producing hydrogen by splitting water into hydrogen (H₂) and oxygen (O₂) using an electric current. When using renewable electricity sources such as solar or wind energy, this is referred to as green hydrogen, which is produced without CO₂ emissions.
Commercial electrolysis technologies include classic alkaline electrolysis (AEL) and the more modern proton exchange membrane electrolysis (PEMEL). Both technologies have advantages and disadvantages, particularly in terms of cost, power density and flexibility. Anion exchange membrane electrolysis (AEMEL) combines significant advantages and is considered one of the most promising alternatives for the future.

Electrolysers as a bridge between energy sectors

Electrolysers make it possible to efficiently network energy grids and contribute to decarbonisation depending on demand and operating mode. They can convert surpluses from volatile, renewable energy sources into reusable gas and utilise the resulting waste heat to increase the degree of utilisation. Depending on the application and circumstances, these forms of energy can be stored, distributed or utilised for other processes. The promotion of such synergies has a high priority in the development of our solution. Our system modules offer efficient interfaces for utilising waste heat and thus build further bridges between energy sectors.

Grid-stabilising use of electrolysers

The planned and rapid expansion of renewable energies is placing a heavy burden on the existing electricity grid. In addition to their core task of producing hydrogen, flexibly deployable electrolysers can also make a significant contribution to stabilising the electricity grid by:

Balancing load peaks at renewable power generation plants before they reach the electricity grid.
Compensating for fluctuations in the load profile and produce hydrogen at an optimised electricity price.
Compensating for deviations between supply and demand at grid nodes in a matter of seconds.
Schematische Dargstellung von Elektrolyseuren als Netzstabilisatoren

The new era of hydrogen production

AEM is a promising technology for the efficient splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen.
 
The centrepiece of this technology is an anion-conducting membrane, which divides the electrolysis cell into an anode and cathode half-cell. The splitting of the water takes place at the cathode electrode, the resulting hydrogen can be discharged from the cathode chamber in high purity (>99.9 %) and under pressure (>30 bar).

In contrast to PEMEL, AEM electrolysers can do without critical and expensive materials such as iridium or platinum and are therefore significantly more cost-efficient, especially when it comes to purchasing. Compared to conventional alkaline electrolysis (AEL), they offer higher power densities and greater dynamics. This flexibility, high efficiency and low investment costs make our AEM stacks promising players on the road to a sustainable hydrogen economy.  

low cost
PGM-free
high flexibility
top efficiency

A global market is emerging

According to current studies, the global market for electrolysers is expected to generate sales of USD 2,220 billion by 2035, with an annual growth rate of around 35 %. Electrolysis capacities are expected to expand 1,000-fold by 2040, with plant capacities of over 200 GW.

Europe: By 2040, Europe is expected to be the leader in terms of installed electrolysis capacities and to have installed 85 % of the global electrolysis capacities of over 200 GW.
North America (USA): The market for electrolysers is expected to grow to around USD 137 billion by 2028, with an annual growth rate of approx. 25 %.

A clear mandate for the energy transition

Over the past few years, the international community has made a clear commitment to combating climate change and moving away from fossil fuels. Numerous nations have developed strategies and goals for establishing a hydrogen economy.

Paris Agreement on climate change (2016)

Global agreement to limit the rise in temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius and to make additional efforts to limit the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

European energy and climate goals

The EU has committed to becoming climate-neutral by 2050 and reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by more than 55% by 2030.

European Clean Hydrogen Alliance

The EU is aiming to produce up to 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen by 2030.

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

This law aims to grant tax breaks for low-carbon hydrogen and thus promote investment in the hydrogen economy.  

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