What is LOHC?
Liquid organic hydrogen carrier, in short LOHC, is an organic molecule that reacts chemically with hydrogen.
Let’s break this down:
Imagine you have a special liquid that can carry hydrogen. Hydrogen is a gas, and it’s used as a clean energy source. BUT, it is also very light and very difficult to store in its original gas form.
So, when we say LOHC, we mean a special liquid that can hold hydrogen. This liquid can soak up hydrogen like a sponge soaks up water.
Why is this cool?
Because hydrogen is a clean fuel, and if we can store it in a liquid form, it becomes easier to transport and use.
In summary, LOHC is like a magic liquid that can hold onto hydrogen, making it a practical and efficient way to store and transport clean energy!
There is of course more to it!
The storage and recovery of hydrogen is done through a reversible hydrogenation-dehydrogenation reaction. That means hydrogen is stored on these molecules and released when we need it. This leaves behind the storage liquid unchanged.
The storage-release process is repeated and the storage liquid or the “fuel” is charged-discharged from hydrogen in each cycle. And so, hydrogen can be stored, transported and released when we need it. This is great, because the existing fuel infrastructure can be utilized with minimum adaptation.
While this idea looks good and has been tried before, the real challenge is finding a special system that can safely and reliably store and release hydrogen as needed.
One of the main challenges in the process of storing and releasing hydrogen within an LOHC is the need for an efficient and selective catalyst. A catalyst is like a helper that makes the reactions happen. Unfortunately, common catalysts available ‘off-the-shelf’ typically don’t work very well for this job. Also, they tend to perform poorly and may not last long under the conditions needed in the LOHC system.
Enabling LOHC technology!
At C2CAT, our mission is to enhance the catalytic lifespan, efficiency, and specificity for applications involving LOHCs.
We achieve this goal through the utilization of innovative synthesis technologies, coupled with quantum chemical research and the application of machine learning (ML) techniques.
This integrated approach guarantees the fine-tuning of catalyst performance specifically for the LOHC system.
Interested in LOHC catalysts?
Contact us to learn more and to test LOHC catalyst products that are tailored to your hydrogen storage system.
Here you can read more about this topic:
- An overview of the kinetics and catalysis of hydrogen storage on organic liquids, https://doi.org/10.1002/cjce.21871.
The effect of the N atom on the dehydrogenation of heterocycles used for hydrogen storage, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apcata.2012.01.013.
Operational experience with a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) system for bidirectional storage of electrical energy over 725 h, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.est.2023.108478.