The use of hydrogen technology in rail transportation is becoming more important as a means of reducing CO2 emissions and assisting in the achievement of climate goals.
Siemens Mobility has developed a hydrogen-powered train, the Mireo Plus H, in recent years. Hydrogen is tanked in gas form in this technology, and it must be kept under high pressure to achieve the required high density.
In the field of so-called LOHC technology, the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) is a leader. An organic carrier liquid absorbs hydrogen and only releases it when it is needed in this process. As a result, the hydrogen is chemically bound and cannot escape in a gaseous state. It can be safely prepared and stored, as well as transported at a low cost. It is no longer necessary to store items under high pressure or at low temperatures. A unique feature of the technology is that it can be used for on-board generation of electrical power in mobile applications such as trains.
Albrecht Neumann, CEO Rolling Stock, Siemens Mobility, said, “Siemens Mobility is especially pleased to be entering into a partnership with the renowned Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg to develop Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier technology in rail transport. Hydrogen technology is a promising solution for making rail transport climate-neutral. And since sustainability has a very high priority for us at Siemens Mobility, we’re providing a Vectron locomotive for testing the LOHC technology.”
Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid, Director at the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy, agrees. “Siemens Mobility’s interest in the LOHC technology that we’ve decisively developed over the past few years at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and at the HI ERN is an excellent basis for a possible cooperation in the future. We share with Siemens Mobility the vision of developing a hydrogen technology that uses the existing fuel infrastructure to power large vehicles like trains.”
Through the prospect of providing the Helmholtz Institute with a Vectron mainline locomotive from Siemens Mobility, the two partners have the opportunity to work together to demonstrate the feasibility of the LOHC concept.