Germany – An iron oxide energy storage technology was developed by Ambartec AG and a plant manufacturer, and a Freiberg demonstration facility was established.
In Freiberg, Saxony, two companies are displaying a brand-new hydrogen storage facility. Like Form Energy, Hydrogen Compact Storage (HyCS) uses iron oxide (rust) as a storage medium. Ambartec AG and Umwelt- und Ingenieurtechnik GmbH, both based in Dresden, want to start selling 3,000 kilowatt-hour and 250 kilowatt-hour storage systems in the middle of 2023.
Hydrogen has been present in pressure bottles, cryogenic containers, and LOHC. These conversion processes require a lot of energy. Ambartec and Umwelt- und Ingenieurtechnik have been researching the use of iron oxide for hydrogen storage for many years. Both iron and steel rust.
A small, effective, and environmentally friendly hydrogen storage demonstration facility has been created by the companies. Due to its low water use, quick storage and removal, and simple permitting procedure, hydrogen generation is advantageous.
Iron to hydrogen
Iron oxide (rust) is converted to pure iron by the oxygen in hydrogen when the storage tank is loaded. Water vapor is delivered to an electrolyser at a high temperature. The ability to distribute or keep iron on-site without costly shielding is an advantage.
When the storage tank is emptied, water vapor from the fuel cell exhaust is supplied into the system. Hydrogen is released when iron rusts. In comparison to a pressure vessel (700/350 bar), HyCS from Ambartec and environmental and engineering technologies can store 2.5 to 5 times more energy. Three kilowatt hours can be stored in one liter. It is a tiny energy storage device called the Sachsen.
HyCS allows for the transport of hydrogen while also storing renewable energy. Renewable generation systems must be integrated with high-temperature electrolysers and fuel cells to use water vapor wisely.