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Revolutionising Energy Storage: The Latest Breakthrough in Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers


Liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) can be used as a lossless form of hydrogen storage at ambient conditions. The storage cycle consists of the exothermic hydrogenation of a hydrogen-lean molecule at the start of the transport, usually the hydrogen production site, becoming a hydrogen-rich molecule. This loaded molecule can be transported long distances or be used as long-term storage due to its ability to not lose hydrogen over long periods of time. At the site or time of required hydrogen production, the hydrogen can be released through an endothermic dehydrogenation reaction. LOHCs show similar properties to crude oils, such as petroleum and diesel, allowing easy handling and possibilities of integration with current infrastructure. Using this background, this paper reviews a variety of aspects of the LOHC life cycle, with a focus on currently studied materials. Important factors such as the hydrogenation and dehydrogenation requirements for each material are analysed to determine their ability to be used in current scenarios. Toluene and dibenzyltoluene are attractive options with promising storage attributes, however their dehydrogenation enthalpies remain a problem. The economic feasibility of LOHCs being used as a delivery device were briefly analysed. LOHCs have been shown to be the cheapest option for long distance transport (>200 km), and are cheaper than most at shorter distances in terms of specifically transport costs. The major capital cost of an LOHC delivery chain remains the initial investment for the raw materials and the cost of equipment for performing hydrogenation and dehydrogenation. Finally, some studies in developing the LOHC field were discussed, such as microwave enhancing parts of the process and mixing LOHCs to acquire more advantageous properties.

Countries: United Kingdom

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