Industry uses huge amounts of hydrogen for the production of ammonia, various plastics and refining. But because the hydrogen is made from natural gas, a lot of CO2 is released. Green hydrogen produced from wind and sun should eventually replace the grey version. Then it can also replace natural gas as a fuel in high-temperature heat production processes. Another application is hydrogen as a 'fuel' for vehicles. TNO is exploring how sustainable hydrogen can play a role here.
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Hydrogen can make an important contribution to reducing CO2 emissions through its large-scale use in industry and heavy road and water transport. Industry is responsible for about 30% of these emissions; the transport sector is responsible for almost 20%.
Through VoltaChem, a shared innovation programme, TNO is actively working with national and international partners to achieve and accelerate the electrification of the chemical industry. We are working on new and pioneering technologies such as the conversion of electricity into heat (Power2Heat), the production of hydrogen via innovative electrolysers (Power2Hydrogen), the conversion of sustainable hydrogen into fuels (Power2Fuels or E-Fuels) and the indirect thermochemical and direct electrochemical conversion of water, CO2 and nitrogen using electricity into chemicals (Power2Chemicals). In addition to technology, we are also investigating the economic feasibility of these solutions.
Energy carriers such as hydrogen will continue to be needed as fuels for applications where electricity and batteries are not sufficient. These include heavy road traffic, aviation and shipping as well as the production of high-temperature heat in industrial processes. Hydrogen can be used as a substitute for natural gas in the production of heat for industry and the built environment, for the production of electricity in gas-fired power stations and for the production of electricity on board fuel-cell electric vehicles.
Hydrogen is on the rise in road transport. Passenger cars and trucks equipped with a fuel cell system fill up with hydrogen and emit only water as a by-product. That system uses the hydrogen to produce electricity to drive the electric motor.
For CO2-neutral road traffic TNO is working on the development, introduction and optimisation of fuel-cell systems for various types of vehicle. With our validated measurement methods and models, we help fleet owners determine the best possible combination of fuel cell and battery for a specific use in electric vehicles.
TNO is involved in a large number of national and international projects in the field of sustainable mobility and logistics. In H2-share, for example, we are developing heavy hydrogen-powered trucks and a mobile hydrogen filling station with fifteen partners from the Netherlands and neighbouring countries.
For those interested in hydrogen applications, taking the first step can be exciting. Together with partners, TNO has set up a testing ground in the form of a hydrogen-generating windmill, with associated mobile hydrogen filling station. TNO is looking for municipal services, transporters and private individuals who are interested in getting acquainted with the benefits of (driving on) hydrogen in a low-threshold way.
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