Hydrogen (H2) has a key role to play in the continuation and completion of the energy transition towards climate neutrality. The demand for renewable hydrogen will increase significantly in the future. H2 is therefore synonymous with a sustainable energy supply. The research work on electrolysis, power-to-X (P2X) and fuel cells is high on the agenda at the ZSW – and the bridge linking all these technologies is hydrogen.
It is now time to take the next steps in exploiting the potential of hydrogen technologies. The applied research at the ZSW is making it possible to take a rapid route to market, to establish the necessary value-added chains, and to harness support by way of industrial policy. Taking the know-how we have gathered over many years as a basis – and working with our partners from industry and research – we are developing technology modules for the electricity-based production of hydrogen and synthetic fuels, and we are also producing fuel cells for typical applications and testing them on a commercial scale. The transfer of hydrogen technology and innovation from the research environment to related applications is being fast-tracked in “real-world laboratories”.
The term e-fuel (electrofuel) is used to denote synthetic fuels which are produced using electricity from renewable energies, water and carbon dioxide (CO2). Unlike conventional types of fuel, they do not release any additional CO2 so overall they are climate-neutral on balance. Thanks to their compatibility with modern-day combustion engines, e-fuels can also power heavy goods vehicles, trains, aeroplanes and ships, all of which can therefore be operated with less environmental impact. The same applies to heating systems which are operated with e-methane. It is also possible to continue using the existing transport, distribution and refuelling infrastructure, especially filling stations.