Liquid hydrogen storage - paving the way for a future hydrogen society

(f.l.t.r.) Prof. i. R. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Arlt, Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Peter Wasserscheid, Dr.-Ing. Daniel Teichmann

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Peter Wasserscheid*/** (Spokesperson)
Prof. i. R. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Arlt*
Dr.-Ing. Daniel Teichmann***

* Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
** Forschungszentrum Jülich
***Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH, Erlangen

Energy from renewable sources presents an opportunity to secure a climate-friendly supply of electricity, heat and alternative fuels. Yet energy from wind or sunlight is not always available when needed. An energy storage medium like hydrogen is a solution, yet its use still poses a challenge. How can it be overcome?

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Peter Wasserscheid, Prof. i. R. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Arlt and Dr.-Ing. Daniel Teichmann have discovered a simple and convincing solution. With their discovery, the three nominated scientists have opened the door to a sustainable energy economy based on hydrogen. They came up with a new concept to bind hydrogen safely and inexpensively to an easy-to-handle liquid - and to recover it when needed. The carrier liquid serves as a "returnable bottle" for hydrogen and the energy stored in it.

Peter Wasserscheid is a professor and chair for Chemical Reaction Engineering at Friedrich-Alexander University (FAU) in Erlangen-Nürnberg and is Director of the Helmholtz Institute in Erlangen- Nürnberg for Renewable Energy, a branch of the Forschungszentrum Jülich. Wolfgang Arlt formerly held the Chair of Thermal Process Engineering at the University Erlangen-Nuremberg and is the founding scientific director of the Energy Campus Nuremberg. Daniel Teichmann is Managing Director and principal shareholder of Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH, which he founded together with Peter Wasserscheid, and Wolfgang Arlt.

Energy production from regenerative sources protects the climate and has vast potential worldwide. However, it is dependent on the weather and local climatic conditions. This is why sufficient electric power generated from wind or sunlight is not always available while at other times it is available in abundance. An added factor is that many sparsely populated regions are ideally suited for the erection of high-yield wind turbines or photovoltaic systems, but the power they generate is needed in metropolitan areas. Energy storage can help close the gap. Hydrogen, for example, is ideally suited for this. The light and under normal conditions gaseous element can be produced using wind or solar electricity through the process of the electrolysis of water.

The chemically stored energy in hydrogen can easily be recovered as needed - for example, in a fuel cell which in turn provides electrical power and water as by-products. In storing energy in hydrogen, no climate-damaging carbon dioxide is released. A particular challenge, however, is that hydrogen under normal conditions only has a low energy density. For hydrogen to be stored and transported in the past, it had to be placed under high pressure of up to 700 bar or cooled to liquid form at a temperature below minus 250 degrees Celsius. The disadvantage is that these established forms of storage are technically complex and expensive because they require new infrastructures.

An alternative is the concept of the three nominated scientists: to store hydrogen from regenerative energy sources safely, it is bound to an organic carrier liquid by means of a chemical reaction from which it can easily be released again by a reverse reaction. The idea is similar to that of filling and emptying a returnable bottle that is then available for use for the next storage cycle. The carrier substance known as a "Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier" (LOHC) is not consumed, but can be reused after ever hydrogen storage cycle. As the ideal carrier liquid, the scientists have discovered dibenzyltoluene - a substance that has long been used in industry as an oil-like heat transfer fluid known for its stability and is non-toxic. It is extracted from toluene which is burned in large amounts as a constituent in gasoline.

The hydrogen storage technology the nominees invented has advantages for stationary energy storage, the transport of regenerative energy and new forms of mobility. Since the carrier liquid can be handled as safely and easily as conventional fuels, the existing and established supply infrastructure of tankers, tank wagons and vehicles as well as fueling stations can be used. There is neither the need to build an expensive new supply infrastructure nor any costly hydrogen cooling or compression.

The nominated team developed the material concept as well as the necessary catalysts, equipment and processes. The team documented feasibility at test installations and has brought the technology to the market. In 2013, the scientists founded Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH. The company designs, builds and markets infrastructure solutions for the LOHC technology. Numerous systems are already being used successfully in Germany and in other countries. The medium-term goal is to use the hydrogen-rich carrier liquid directly as a zero-emissions fuel in ships, trains, trucks and buses. A large-scale research project for clean train drive units based on LOHC is currently ongoing in Bavaria. The market potential of the innovative storage technology is immense. Sales are expected to skyrocket thanks to the great interest worldwide in the technology. The real capability of the innovation, however, is even greater: the LOHC technology lays the foundation required to establish hydrogen around the world as a clean energy carrier - for electricity, heat and transport. The vision of a renewable hydrogen society is thus one step closer to reality.

The right to nominate outstanding achievements for the Deutscher Zukunftspreis is incumbent on leading German institutions in science and industry as well as foundations.
The project "Liquid hydrogen storage - paving the way for a future hydrogen society" was submitted by “Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft Deutscher Forschungszentren e. V.”.

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will award the 22st Deutscher Zukunftspreis for the year 2018 to one of the three nominated teams on November 28, 2018.


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Peter Wasserscheid

Oct. 23, 1970
Born in Würzburg, Germany
1981 - 1990
Kaiser-Heinrich-Gymnasium, Bamberg
1990 - 1991
Deutsch-Französische Brigade, Böblingen
1991 - 1995
Studies in Chemistry at the RWTH Aachen University
1995 - 1998
PhD thesis at the Institute for Technical Chemistry and Petroleum Chemistry of the RWTH Aachen, supervisor: Prof. Dr. W. Keim
Industrial postdoc at BP Chemicals Sunbury/Great Britain
1998 - 2003
Habilitation at the Institute for Technical Chemistry and Macromolecular Chemistry of RWTH Aachen
1999 - 2007
Founder and shareholder of Solvent Innovation GmbH, Cologne – sold in 2007 to Merck KGaA, Darmstadt
since 9/2003
C4/W3-Professor at the Institute for Chemical Reaction Engineering at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (successor of Prof. G. Emig)
2003 - 2005
Vice-chairman of the Department for Chemical and Biological Engineering of Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
2005 - 2010
Chairman of the Department for Chemical and Biological Engineering of Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Offer to take a Full Professor position for Chemical Reaction Engineering at EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland – offer declined
since 2010
Vice-chairman of the Department for Chemical and Biological Engineering of Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Founder and shareholder of Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH, Erlangen
since 2014
Secondary employment: Founding director of the Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nuremberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) and Director of the Institute for Energy and Climate Research 11 of Forschungszentrum Julich

Other activities

since 1998
Referee for numerous scientific journals (e. g. Nature, Angewandte Chemie, ChemSusChem etc.) and for numerous national and international funding agencies
since 2003
Contact professor of the Bavarian Elite Academy
since 2005
Spokesman of the DECHEMA-working group Advanced Fluids
since 2005
Member of the coordination board of the elite study course Advanced Materials and Processes of Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg
2006 - 2013
Initiator and coordinator of the DFG Priority Program Ionic Liquids
2008 - 2016
DFG Review Board Member
since 2007
Vice-coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence Engineering of Advanced Materials


Publications & Patents

More than 370 publications in peer-reviewed, international journals
(Co-)inventor of 98 patent applications and granted patents
3 books

Honors & Awards

3. Prize in Bavaria in the Jugend forscht competition in Chemistry, Topic: Polymers with electric conductivity
1. Prize in Germany in the Jugend forscht competition in Environmental Science: “Natural polymer-matrix compounds – a new application for lignin from the Organosolv process”
1. Prize in the competition European Youth Environmental Research
Fellow of the Bavarian foundation for highly gifted students
Fellow of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes
Springorum medal of RWTH Aachen for a master degree with distinction
Friedrich-Wilhelm Prize of RWTH Aachen for excellent scientific achievements during the master thesis
DECHEMA student award for efficient studies in Technical Chemistry
Borchers medal of RWTH Aachen for a PhD degree with distinction
4. Prize in the German start-up competition Science4Life of the Hessian State Government (with Solvent Innovation GmbH, Cologne).
Haltermann Innovation Award (1. Prize) of the Haltermann Ascot GmbH, Hamburg
Carl-Zerbe Award of DGMK for “excellent contributions to the field of applying ionic liquids as catalysts and for catalyst separation”
DECHEMA Junior Professors Award in Technical Chemistry
DECHEMA Award of the Max-Buchner foundation for “ground-breaking contributions for the application of ionic liquids in Technical Chemistry and Biotechnology”
Innovation Award of the German Economy, category start-up, with Solvent Innovation GmbH, Cologne
Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Prize of the German Science Foundation
Nominated for the Degussa European Science-to-Business Award 2006 (prize money: 100.000 €) jointly with Dr. Anders Riisager, DTU, Lyngby, Dänemark
ERC Advanced Investigator Grant: Engineering of Supported Molten Salt Catalysts for Dehydrogenation Reactions and Hydrogen Production Technologies
Honorary Professor at the Institute for Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China.
Bavarian Founder Award with Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH, Erlangen
1. Prize in the German start-up competition Science4Life of the Hessian State Government (with Hydrogenious GmbH, Erlangen).
CATSA Eminent Visitor Award of the South African Catalysis Society
Innovation Award of the German Economy, category start-up; with Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH, Erlangen
ERC Advanced Investigator Grant: Supported Catalytically Active Liquid Metal Solutions


Prof. i. R. Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang Arlt

May 21, 1952
Born in Bochum, NRW, Germany
High school leaving examination (Abitur) at Goethe high school, Bochum
1970 - 1976
Study of chemistry with focus on physical chemistry at University of Dortmund
1976 - 1981
PhD in Chemical Engineering of Dortmund University with the mark “Summa cum laude” (A+)
1981 - 1992
Chemical engineer at Bayer AG (Germany) at the locations Leverkusen, Antwerp and Krefeld; in Krefeld plant manager of a polymer production
1992 - 2004
Professorship at TU Berlin for “Thermodynamics and Separation Science”
1992 - 1996
Chairman of the national Dechema working party “engineering data”
1996 - 2002
Chairman of the national GVC working party “Fluid Separations”
Job offer by Dresden university: refused
2000 - 2003
Chairman of the Dechema working party “Liquid Chromatography”
2004 - 2018
Professor and chair of the chair “Separation Science&Technology” and chairman of the high-pressure lab of Erlangen university
2010 - 2017
Founder and first chairman of Energy Campus Nuremberg
Co-Founder of Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH, Erlangen, Germany


Publications & Patents

More than 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 70 patent applications. Prof. Arlt received the highest earnings for the purchase of a patent group in the history of TU Berlin. The focus of the patents was the recycling of the polymers in the so-called Yellow Bag of the German plastic packing recycling system.

Honours & Awards

Emil-Kirschbaum medal for separation science
A special award is that eight of Prof. Arlt’s scholars became professors in Germany and worldwide.


Dr.-Ing. Daniel Teichmann

Feb. 23, 1983
Born in Würzburg, Germany
Upper secondary school (“Abitur”) Kaiser-Heinrich-Gymnasium Bamberg, Germany
2002 - 2003
Basic military service, technical maintenance at bomber squadron 32, Lagerlechfeld Germany
2003 - 2009
Diploma study program in engineering and economics, Friedrich-Alexander-University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
2005 - 2010
Founder and CEO of „Kopiermanie GbR“, personnel services provider, Erlangen
2006 - 2007
Additional study as scholar at the Bavarian Elite Academy - an institution of the state of Bavaria, Munich, Germany
Overseas internship at Leonie AG in Changzhou, PR China
Summer Internship at McKinsey&Company, London, Great Britain
Graduation (Diploma thesis) at FMP Technology GmbH, Erlangen, Germany
2009 - 2012
Development engineer at BMW AG Research and Technology in the department „Efficient Dynamics Engine Research“, Munich, Germany
2009 - 2014
Dissertation at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany, Graduation with „summa cum laude“
Supervisor: Prof. Dr Wolfgang Arlt, Prof. Dr Peter Wasserscheid
Topic: „Konzeption und Bewertung eines nachhaltigen Energiesystems auf Basis flüssiger Wasserstoffträger (LOHC)“ (Conception and assessment of a sustainable energy system based on Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC))
2012 - 2014
CEO of „Bavarian Hydrogen Center“, government-funded research institution, amount of funding: 15 Mio. EUR over 5 years, Erlangen, Germany
since 2013
Founder and CEO of „Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH“, Erlangen, Germany

Other activities

1997 - 2007
Basketball player, i. a. regional leagues southern germany
2003 - 2005
Leader of the work group „Studenten und Jungingenieure Erlangen“ (Students and young engineers Erlangen) of the „Verein Deutscher Ingenieure (VDI)“ (Association of German Engineers)
2010 - 2015
Chairman of the Alumni Association of the Bavarian Elite Academy
2010 - 2011
Elected spokesman of the PhD student committee at BMW Group
since 2014
Member of the advisory board (“Kuratorium”) of the Bavarian Elite Academy
since 2015
Function as jury member and mentor for the Bavarian Elite Academy


Publications & Patents

9 international publications, like:
„A future energy supply based on LOHC“ in „Energy & Environmental Science“, 2011, 4, 2767-2773, lead author, 152 citations (Date 7/2018)
“Energy storage in residential and commercial buildings via Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC)” in “Energy & Environmental Science”, 2012, 5, 9044-9054, lead author, 70 citations (Date 7/2018)
“Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers as an efficient vector for the storage and transport of renewable energy” in “International Journal of Hydrogen Energy”, Volume 37, Issue 23, December 2012, Pages 18118-18132, lead author, 108 citations (Date 7/2018)
Dissertation: „Konzeption und Bewertung eines nachhaltigen Energiesystems auf Basis flüssiger Wasserstoffträger“, Shaker Verlag, ISBN-13: 978-3844033229
17 national and international patent applications

Honours & Awards

Winner: 5-Euro-Business-competition of the “Bildungswerk der bayerischen Wirtschaft” (start-up competition) with the company „kopiermanie“
Scholarship: admittance to the “Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft” (Scholarship foundation of the German Industry)
Scholarship: admittance to the Bavarian Elite Academy
Scholarship: admittance to the “Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes” (German Academic Scholarship Foundation)
Scholarship: admittance to the Leonardo-college of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg
Finalist: „SCIentrepreneur Innovation Check“ with the contribution „Flüssige Wasserstoffträger (LOHC)“ (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC))
Winner: ”Hochschulgründerpreis” (University founders award) in the „Businessplan contest North Bavaria” with Hydrogenious Technologies
Winner: “Bayerischer Gründerpreis” (Bavarian Founders Award) in the category „Concept“ with Hydrogenious Technologies
Winner: Nationwide „Science4Life Venture Cup 2014“ with Hydrogenious Technologies
Finalist: “Next Economy Award” with Hydrogenious Technologies
Winner: “Innovationspreis der Deutschen Wirtschaft” (German Industry Innovation Award) in the category Startup with Hydrogenious Technologies
Winner: “Step” Award in the categories „Technology“ and “special award sustainability” with Hydrogenious Technologies
Winner: GP Bullhound Connect Award in the category „Ones to watch“ with Hydrogenious Technologies
Winner: “Start up Energy transition award” in the category “Cleantech against climate change” of the German Energy Agency (dena) with Hydrogenious Technologies
Winner: Founders award of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Middle Franconia
Winner: Honoured as a „Global Cleantech 100“ company with Hydrogenious Technologies




Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid
Lehrstuhl für Chemische Reaktionstechnik
Institut für Chemie- und Bioingenieurwesen
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Egerlandstraße 3
91058 Erlangen
Phone: +49 (0) 9131 / 85 27 420


Hydrogenious Technologies GmbH
Herr Marko Lederer
Weidenweg 13
91058 Erlangen
Phone: +49 (0) 9131 / 12 64 02 38
Fax: +49 (0) 9131 / 12 64 029

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Blandina Mangelkramer
Schlossplatz 4
91054 Erlangen
Phone: +49 (0) 9131 / 85 70 229
Fax: +49 (0) 9131 / 85 70 220

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