Dubbed the Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier for Hydrogen Transport from Scotland (LHyTS) project, the partners seek to demonstrate that methylcyclohexane (MCH) as an LOHC can be successfully transported at scale, providing an export route to the Port of Rotterdam, and other European destinations.

Joining the NZTC and ERM is an international consortium, including Axens, Chiyoda, EnQuest, Koole Terminals, Port of Rotterdam, Scottish Government, Shetland Islands Council, and Storegga.

H2 View understands the partners will work together undertaking engineering studies targeted at developing a pilot project as a precursor to large-scale export.

The project comes as the Port of Rotterdam looks to establish itself as a major European clean hydrogen import hub. In May (2022), the Port of Rotterdam Authority claimed it could supply the continent with 4.6 megatonnes of hydrogen annually by 2030.

Read more: Port of Rotterdam could be situated to provide 4.6 megatonnes of hydrogen annually by 2030

The storage of hydrogen in a pure liquid form requires cryogenic temperatures, due to the boiling point of hydrogen at one-atmosphere pressure being -252.8oC. LOHCs are organic compounds that can absorb and release hydrogen through chemical reactions, allowing them to be used as a storage medium.

Read more: Could LOHC be the catalyst to jump start the hydrogen economy?

“The main challenge in exporting hydrogen is choosing the best means of transportation,” said Hayleigh Barnett, Project Manager at the NZTC.  “Early stage studies in this project have concluded that LOHC has several advantages over other carrier forms, such as ammonia, methanol or liquid hydrogen. Conducting an industrial scale trial is an exciting step in making LOHC export a reality.”

Under its REPowerEU plan, the European Commission has set the target of importing 10 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen annually by 2030, in addition to producing 10 million tonnes domestically.

Read more: REPowerEU: €34-49bn needed for hydrogen infrastructure

Andrew Sneddon, Consulting Director at ERM, commented, “With the predicted demand for hydrogen in Europe, this project represents a significant step forward in enable achieving the safe and efficient export of hydrogen to a growing market.”

René van de Plas, Director International of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, added, “Scotland is extremely fit for the production of green hydrogen, because of its abundance of wind and the demand at the continent nearby. On top of that, the area is one of the heartlands of the oil and energy sector. That ecosystem of knowledge, infrastructure and companies will help to kickstart the hydrogen economy.”