The Latest Developments in LOHC-BT: Dr. Toralf Pohl on Hydrogenious’ Competitive LOHC Technology

Meet Dr. Toralf Pohl, Chief Commercial Officer of Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies. Dr. Toralf Pohl is a business jurist with a MBA from European Business School in Oestrich Winkel, Germany, and Durham Business School, UK. He draws on more than 15 years of experience in international market and business development, including product marketing & sales in the renewable energy and power-to-x industry. Before joining Hydrogenious in 2022, he was Executive Vice President of International Project Development at PNE AG, a German Renewable Project Developer and IPP. Previously, he served over a decade at the wind turbine manufacturer Senvion in leadership functions. Dive into our conversation with Dr. Toralf Pohl below, where we explore the intricacies of LOHC-BT through an email interview, offering expert insights:

  1. Can you share any latest developments of breakthroughs in the area of the LOHC-BT?  

“ Things move very fast in the hydrogen bubble, which also affects us: So I’m glad to share a few insights from our side! 

We are currently in the process of scaling-up the LOHC supply chains, with our first industrial-scale Storage Plant being built in Chempark Dormagen in Germany and our project Green Hydrogen at Blue Danube, which has been IPCEI notified by the European Commission and expects final funding approval by the German government mid this year. Another example is the multi-ton Release Plant being established at the Port of Amsterdam, our next step to commercial sized plants, contributing to import of hydrogen to Amsterdam. 

We are also continually looking for ways to improve the efficiency of our plant systems both in our own R&D department and in collaboration with several research institutes. Recently, colleagues from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg examined a new method to save energy during hydrogenation and dehydrogenation process by applying the catalyst material in a new way – which was then successfully tested in the facilities in our headquarters.” 

  1. From Hydrogenious’ Perspective, what are the key factors that will drive the success of the hydrogen economy in the coming years?  

“The first important factor is to secure committed, green hydrogen off-take. While there is a general demand for green hydrogen and targets have been set in various countries, the higher cost of green hydrogen compared to gray hydrogen does not facilitate long-term and large-scale off-take agreements. Stipulating the market with e.g. further increases of subsidies or carbon emission regulations are policy tools to reduce or equalize green hydrogen production costs. 

That leads us to the next key factor: The regulatory prerequisites the hydrogen economy still requires. We need more certainty in terms of hydrogen regulation and policies to support large scale hydrogen projects. From simple statutory definitions such as “what constitutes green hydrogen” to complex regulatory questions, policymakers in Germany, in the EU and at a global level are currently being called upon to address these issues. There have already been some good initiatives such as the German National Hydrogen Strategy and the Renewable Energy Directives, but those are only steppingstones in our opinion. 

Another key to successfully ramping up the hydrogen economy is the adequate build-up of the necessary infrastructure. Here, our LOHC technology is particularly beneficial since we can use conventional liquid fuel infrastructure to transport the hydrogen once it is stored within our LOHC benzyltoluene.” 

  1. How does Hydrogenious’ LOHC technology stand out from other hydrogen solutions in terms of efficiency, cost, and safety?  

“Our LOHC technology is advantageous in several ways: our LOHC benzyltoluene can be transported at ambient temperature and pressure and there is no hydrogen loss even after long periods of time, making it very energy-efficient, which has been seconded by several studies, e.g. from DVGW and Agora Energiewende. Another beneficial factor: Our hydrogenation process generates waste heat that can be utilized for e.g. seawater desalination or fed into a heating grid, adding both to the energy and cost efficiency. The usability of existing infrastructure factors into the cost competitiveness of our LOHC solution as well, which has been shown in various studies by e.g. Roland Berger, Goldman Sachs, and Guidehouse.  

The inherent superior safety is, however, a core benefit and where our LOHC benzyltoluene really stands out, as it is hardly flammable, non-explosive and has a hazard potential comparable to Diesel. This makes our LOHC solution particularly well suited for handling hydrogen in densely populated areas und ports such as the Port of Amsterdam.”