H2LORICA project gets $5 million grant to further hydrogen storage technology

(Photo: Rheinmetall AG)

The H2LORICA project, a joint development project of Rheinmetall AG of Düsseldorf and the Institute for Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen University, has been awarded a grant of €4.7 million (roughly $5 million USD) by the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), to further development of technology for manufacturing innovative pressure tanks for hydrogen. The development grant will go to Rheinmetall Invent GmbH, the subsidiary in charge of research and development in the H2 technology realm.

The three-year, roughly €7.3 million ($7.8 million USD) H2LORICA project will work to develop the hydrogen pressure tank system, specifically a Type IV pressure tank (700 bar), which has been shown to offer multiple advantages. Project goals include boosting hydrogen storage capacity, attaining greater cycle stability and achieving a longer service life. Work will also focus on improving fire prevention, reducing the time it takes to refuel and better thermal management, according to the grant announcement. Innovative production technology is intended not only to boost quality but to cut production times by 80% to 90%.

H2LORICA falls within the scope of the NRW’s “hydrogen roadmap,” formulated at the end of 2020, which calls for 11,000 trucks, 3,800 buses and 1,000 refuse collection vehicles to be powered by fuel cells by 2030. To achieve this objective, hydrogen tank systems for mobility applications must be available, efficient, safe and inexpensive, the NRW points out.

“In our hydrogen roadmap, we have formulated very ambitious goals for a climate-friendly hydrogen economy and the roll-out of hydrogen-based engines, especially for heavy transport vehicles,” said Andreas Pinkwart, NRW’s Minister for Economics, Innovation, Digitization and Energy, in presenting the consortium with the formal grant notice for the project on June 9, 2022. “I’m very pleased that, thanks to our progres.nrw-Innovation development programme, we can support the work of project partners Rheinmetall Invent and the Institute for Textile Technology of RWTH Aachen in their quest to develop the hydrogen tank systems we will need going forward.”

Armin Papperger, chairman of the executive board of Rheinmetall AG, said the company’s objective is “to decisively shape the way hydrogen technology is used.” “We are grateful to the state government for their material and financial support of our technological efforts and are eager to play our part in making NRW an important player in the world of H2 technology,” he added.

The grant announcement notes experts put the global market potential of the hydrogen industry at over €100 billion by the end of the decadet.

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