Partnership created to develop Vectron hydrogen-powered locomotive

hydrogen technologySiemens Mobility and the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the hydrogen technology by researching the use of Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) solution and to install it on a Vectron locomotive.

Under the agreement, the two parties will work on a pilot project to demonstrate the feasibility of the Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) concept.

“Hydrogen technology is a promising solution for making rail transport climate-neutral. And since sustainability has a very high priority for us at Siemens Mobility, we’re providing a Vectron locomotive for testing the LOHC technology,” Albrecht Neumann, CEO Rolling Stock, at Siemens Mobility said.

HI ERN is a leader in the field of so-called LOHC technology. In this process, an organic carrier liquid absorbs hydrogen and releases it only when needed. The hydrogen is thus chemically bound and cannot escape in a gas form. This way, it can be prepared and stored safely, and transported inexpensively. Storage under high pressure or at low temperatures is no longer necessary. The LOHC technology   has a special advantage as it can be also suitable for the on-board generation of electrical power in mobile applications like trains.

“Siemens Mobility’s interest in the LOHC technology that we’ve decisively developed over the past few years at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg and at the HI ERN is an excellent basis for a possible cooperation in the future. We share with Siemens Mobility the vision of developing a hydrogen technology that uses the existing fuel infrastructure to power large vehicles like trains,” Peter Wasserscheid, the Director of the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy, said.

The use of hydrogen technology in rail transport is becoming increasingly important as a solution for reducing CO2 emissions and helping to meet climate targets. In recent years, Siemens Mobility has developed a hydrogen-powered train, the Mireo Plus H. In this technology, hydrogen is tanked in gas form and must be kept under high pressure in order to achieve the required high density.

HI ERN, in a partnership with other institutions and companies, has submitted the application for the establishment of Germany’s hydrogen technology centre, proposed to be constructed in Pfeffenhausen, Bavaria. It will accelerate the technology transfer from research to industry, creating a zero-emission mobility system.


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