Hydrogen technologies

Hydrogen is going to play a major role in our future energy and economic systems – as energy carrier and raw material. Only with hydrogen will it be possible to make industrial production, heat production and mobility climate-neutral while also reducing geostrategic dependencies.

By 2050, for Germany alone a hydrogen demand of 400 TWh of hydrogen per year is expected. This would correspond to almost the entire electricity production of today. It is therefore very important that all hydrogen technologies are stable, robust, scalable and, most of all, cost-efficient. This is where Fraunhofer IKTS can contribute.

Hydrogen is only climate-friendly, i.e. green, if it is produced using renewable energies. The most important technology in this regard is electrolysis, which is ideally suited for coupling with wind power and photovoltaic electricity. Fraunhofer IKTS can look back on decades of experience in the development and construction of electrochemical reactors for the production and use of hydrogen. This makes industrial electrolysis one of our most important fields of activity.

Hydrogen is easy to store and transport in pipelines, making it very attractive for heavy mobility and industrial applications. Fraunhofer IKTS provides support in these fields with its solid know-how in materials science and its measuring and testing technology for tank and pipeline monitoring.

The most important contributions of Fraunhofer IKTS refer to the utilization of hydrogen: conversion of hydrogen into chemical energy carriers or basic chemicals, reconversion into electricity in fuel cells, or direct energetic use in thermal processes or the steel industry.

IKTS develops and demonstrates these technologies with its extensive system know-how as well as prototyping and testing capabilities. Fraunhofer IKTS, with its expertise and various specialized sites and technical centers, is a leading European partner for the complete value chain of current and future hydrogen technologies. 

Topics#

Hydrogen production

Hydrogen produced from renewable energy is a key element for the energy transition. It is ideal for sector coupling and thus contributes to the defossilization of energy supply. Fraunhofer IKTS develops different technologies for the production of green hydrogen.

Electrolysis

Green hydrogen can be produced via electrolysis processes, among other things. Each process has specific advantages, which can be applied to certain operational scenarios. Fraunhofer IKTS is a leading developer in high-temperature and membrane electrolysis.

Hydrogen utilization

Green hydrogen can be used in a variety of ways in a future energy system. In addition to the direct energetic utilization in mobility, hydrogen can contribute to use CO2 emissions advantageously or avoid them completely in industrial processes. IKTS develops key components and processing concepts.

Hydrogen storage and transport

In order to use the potential of hydrogen in the future, reliable and continuous storage and transport infrastructure is needed. Fraunhofer IKTS provides suitable safety and measuring technology as well as monitoring concepts for tanks and pipelines. 

Preparatory research

Besides developments ready for production and the transfer of research results ready for use, Fraunhofer IKTS does preparatory research in the field of hydrogen technologies with regard to a later industrial or commercial application.

Competencies

Fraunhofer IKTS has extensive know-how in the field of hydrogen technologies along the entire value chain: from material via individual key components through to the system. Economic feasibility studies as well as reliable measuring and monitoring concepts complete the portfolio.

Cooperation models
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Innovation and development are the cornerstones of a promising corporate future. In order to create a competitive edge, Fraunhofer offers tailored options for cooperation, so that small and medium-sized companies can work together in the best possible way. This also allows to utilize development skills at short notice and as needed.