In the hydrogen pressure storage segment, APEX has been collaborating with emano Kunststofftechnik GmbH and Fraunhofer Institute in Rostock. A production line for a newly designed modern type IV hydrogen pressure tank has been developed. The carbon fiber reinforced tank is equipped with an industry leading (in house trialled and tested) hydrogen-tight plastic liner. The utilization of carbon fiber reduces the component weight to a faction of comparable steel tanks and displays outstanding dynamic strength, incorporating the highest safety and lifetime requirements.
Further developments led to the certification by Lloyd’s Register Rostock for a state-of-the-art storage system utilising a 20 ft container in 2021. The fully integrated system comprises of 10 single hydrogen tanks. Each of these has a capacity of 1,000 liters and is ready to store gaseous hydrogen at ambient temperatures at 60 bar. Presently, APEX is developing tanks that are capable of storing hydrogen at a pressure level of up to 350 bar.
The next step is the storage of hydrogen in a chemical compound. From 2019, APEX has been working in close partnership with the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis on the development of a pressureless storage system qualified to store hydrogen as part of a liquid hydrogen carrier (formic acid). The system is expected to provide ten times the storage capacity of energy compared to the present APEX pressurized storage solution.
This technology makes hydrogen storage more compact, safer and easier to transport. APEX has secured two patents to protect the developed technology. The first depicts a chemical storage process using methyl formate as the hydrogen carrier. The second outlines the use of formic acid, carbon dioxide and an alcohol for the chemical storage of hydrogen. The redeeming feature of this process is that the hydrogen can be stored at very mild conditions. The market launch is scheduled for 2023.