Automation of thermochemical processes to de-crease hydrogen generation costs
Hydrogen plays a major role in the transition of the world’s energy supply towards 100% renewable. It can be stored and therefore increase the fraction of renewable energies (RE) especially in heat supply and traffic. It can be used directly in vehicles with fuel cells or it can be transformed into synthetic fuels like methane, methanol or diesel, which may be used in conventional thermal engines like combustion engines, stationary or jet turbines for aircraft propulsion
In this way, hydrogen is able to compensate the fluctuating and strongly weather dependent energy generation of RE especially in central Europe.
The automatized thermochemical water splitting process, which will be operated in ASTOR, uses high-temperature heat (800°C–1400°) to drive a series of chemical reactions that produce hydrogen. The metal-oxides used in the process are reused within each cycle, creating a closed loop that consumes only water and produces hydrogen and oxygen.
In ASTOR a reactor will be developed, which is based on the ones of the HYDROSOL project family. It will have a thermal capacity of 250 kW. As REDOX-material Ceroxide is used.
Besides reactor development ASTOR focusses on automation and thermal management. In cooperation with the companies Stausberg&Vosding and AWS-Technik a demonstration plant will be erected for the Synlight® at the DLR-site in Jülich. Here, it will be demonstrated, that the developed components contribute to an improvement of the overall efficiency of the process.
The heat for the process will be supplied by the high performance spotlights of Synlight®, which in this case replace or simulate the concentrated solar radiation of the heliostat field. Synlight®, one of the largest installations for experiments with concentrated radiation, offers ideal conditions for extensive tests carried out to further gain operational experience with this technology.
Furthermore the Rheinische Fachhochschule Cologne, a university of applied sciences, belongs to the ASTOR consortium. They contribute with a detailed system model capable to develop a larger plant concept, which may serve as prototype for s further commercialization of the technology.
Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln (RFH)
Stausberg & Vosding GmbH
European Union, European Regional Develoopment Fund