This contribution describes a concept for the establishment of a competitive energy distribution network based on Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) compounds. These compounds are characterized by the fact that they can be loaded and un-loaded with considerable amounts of hydrogen in a cyclic process. This concept links the technical challenge of storing temporary and local energy over-production from regenerative sources with the vision of a sustainable, hydrogen-based mobility. The proposed LOHC compounds have many physico-chemical similarities to diesel. Thus, LOHCs could make use of the existing energy infrastructure (e.g.tank ships, storage tanks or fueling stations) and enable a slow and step-wise replacement of the existing hydrocarbon fuels by alternative LOHC fuels. We consider LOHCs as an attractive way to provide wind and solar energy for mobility applications in the form of liquid energy carrying molecules of similar energy storage densities and manageability as today’s fossil fuels.
Energy & Environmental Science, 2011,4, 2767-2773