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Techno-Economic Analysis of Hydrogen Storage Technologies for Railway Engineering: A Review


According to the specific requirements of railway engineering, a techno-economic comparison for onboard hydrogen storage technologies is conducted to discuss their feasibility and potentials for hydrogen-powered hybrid trains. Physical storage methods, including compressed hydrogen (CH2 ), liquid hydrogen (LH2 ), and cryo-compressed hydrogen (CcH2 ), and material-based (chemical) storage methods, such as ammonia, liquid organic hydrogen carriages (LOHCs), and metal hydrides, are carefully discussed in terms of their operational conditions, energy capacity, and economic costs. CH2 technology is the most mature now but its storage density cannot reach the final target, which is the same problem for intermetallic compounds. In contrast, LH2 , CcH2 , and complex hydrides are attractive for their high storage density. Nevertheless, the harsh working conditions of complex hydrides hinder their vehicular application. Ammonia has advantages in energy capacity, utilisation efficiency and cost, especially being directly utilised by fuel cells. LOHCs are now considered as a potential candidate for hydrogen transport. Simplifying the dehydrogenation process is the important prerequisite for its vehicular employment. Recently, increasing novel hydrogen-powered trains based on different hydrogen storage routes are being tested and optimised across the world. It can be forecasted that hydrogen energy will be a significant booster to railway decarbonisation.

Funding source: This research was jointly supported by the UK Research and Innovation and DTE Network+ (reference 522620).
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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