Research Theme: Energy
A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.
Summary of the project
Hydrogen is widely accepted as a promising technology to replace fossil fuels. However, it is challenging to store hydrogen. Current solutions require high pressure, cold temperatures or substances like ammoniac, which is expensive at best, dangerous and unsustainable at worst.
H2Fuel solves these challenges by providing a way to produce, store and release hydrogen from a powder, namely sodium borohydride (NaBH4). Hydrogen is produced by adding ultra-pure water to this sodium borohydride, and does not require additional energy. In an exothermal reaction, 100% of the hydrogen in the sodium borohydride as well as the hydrogen molecules in the water are released. This is the core of the invention of H2Fuel. Experiments had been carried out previously in America, but when using normal water, only 30% of the hydrogen is released. Once the hydrogen has been issued, the residual substances can be returned to the powder state with hydrogen stored in them: this makes H2Fuel the world’s first circular fuel.
The energy storage of hydrogen in sodium borohydride powder has some substantial benefits. Firstly sodium borohydride has an unlimited capacity and is already widely produced and used in soaps and medical applications. Moreover, the residual product (SCL) is harmless to the environment.
Lastly, it does not need to be connected to the electricity grid. It can therefore replace generators in rural areas, or provide energy on location.
The technology itself has nothing but advantages, However, to deploy hydrogen, combustion engines and the infrastructure it around must be adapted, which demands high investments. If these investments are made, you end up with combustion engines with zero emissions.
H2Fuel is looking to license its patented technology, or sell it to the right third party.
Contribution to the Energy transition?
Enables the wider use of hydrogen by making it easy to produce, store and release hydrogen under atmospheric conditions and on off-grid locations.