Hydrogen research at the TU Darmstadt

The Technical University of Darmstadt has broad expertise in the field of hydrogen. Numerous groups focus on questions along the entire value chain.

Hydrogen will play a key role in enhancing and completing the energy transition.

“The national hydrogen strategy”, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), June 2020

At the Technical University of Darmstadt, research and development of hydrogen technologies plays an important role in all its facets along the value chain of production, storage, infrastructure, use, logistics, as well as in cross-sectional studies of political and social sciences. By bridging fundamental and application-oriented research as well as university-industry cooperation, we offer broad expertise and comprehensive reflection of a decarbonized industry.

Cooperations

We are happy to offer you a cooperation in new research and development projects in the field of hydrogen, such as collaborative research or bilateral projects. Please find suitable contact persons for different topics and methods below.

We are looking forward to getting in touch with you and to discuss research and development in the area of hydrogen.

Research groups

Research focus

  • Several engine test rigs with CI and SI concepts; fuel cell test rig up to 160 kW is under contruction
  • Continuous tool palette from simulation to test bench measurements up to vehicle measurements
  • First standard vehicle modified for electrofuel operation
  • Development of operation strategies fuel cell vehicles (FCV) and electrofuel powered vehicles

Contact

Internal Combustion Engines and Powertrain Systems

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research focus

  • Drive technology for electric and hybrid cars as well as traction drives with high efficiency considering redundancy
  • Electric machines for renewable energies, such as wind-driven generators, superconducting generators
  • high-speed three-phase traction, magnetic bearings and bearingless drives, application: compressor, blood pumps, worm drives
  • Interaction between frequency inverter and electric machine, investigation of bearing damage due to throughput
  • Industrial drives with high torque and high efficiency at low torque ripple

Competencies and methods

  • Measurement of electric machines with respect to efficiency, torque ripple, power loss
  • Metrological and theoretical investigation of throughput in mechanical bearings
  • Electromagnetic, thermal and structural mechanic analysis of electrical machines by analytics and simulation (software for application of 2D/3D finite element method (FEM)

Contact

Electrical Energy Conversion

Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology

Research competencies

  • Material characterization
  • Solid state NMR (ssNMR)
  • In situ NMR
  • Hyperpolarization

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Physical Chemistry of Condensed Matter

Department of Chemistry

Research focus

Research at the EST comprises several areas of energy technology and production of hydrogen or other basic chemicals or synthetic fuels. The focus is on the development, optimization and scale-up of several energy supply processes as well as the development of measurement technology for the quantitative assessment of theses processes.

Sustainable energy supply is defined by a targeted decarbonisation and emission reduction in the energy sector as well as improved availability and cost effectiveness of the processes in use.

To reach these goals, research at the EST is structured into the three areas “Gasification & Innovative Energy Conversion Crocesses”, “CO2 Capture”, and “Power Plant and Fluidized Bed Technology”.

Methods

The methods include numerical approaches, such as process simulations and CFD, as well as experimental investigations. One highlight is our unique 1 MWth pilot plant that has been used for the investigation of various processes under industrial conditions.

Contact

Institute for Energy Systems and Technology

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research focus

In the etzoldlab the challenges arising with the needed global energy change and future sustainable feedstock supply for chemical industry are the major research guideline. From the perspective of chemical engineering, a multidisciplinary approach is employed to provide scientific solutions for these challenges, especially for the complex interplay of catalytic materials within a full process or device. In the scientific approach, generic experiments play a dominant role. They allow controlling process conditions from highly idealized towards technically realistic and are combined with diagnostics providing in-situ information. Chemical reaction engineering simulations complement the experiments, giving especially insights into complex mass transfer phenomena and, therefore making a more holistic picture possible. As a future sustainable energy and chemical industry will need a concerted interaction of electrochemical and classical heterogeneous catalyzed processes both are studied. Based on this strategy, the research of the etzoldlab can be divided in three strongly interacting sub-groups: Advanced Catalytic Materials – Electrochemical Energy Conversion Processes – Heterogeneous Catalysis and Processes.

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Chemical Technology

Department of Chemistry

Research focus:

  • Hydrogen liquefaction by magnetic cooling (energy efficient, climate-friendly refrigerant, …)
  • Solid state hydrogen storage (metal hydrides, magnesium hydride, complex hydrides)
  • Hydrogen in intermetallic phases (fundamentals, hydrogen embrittlement, disproportioning, hydrogen purification, production of ultra-fine grain structures)
  • Separation and recycling of rare earth permanent magnets by hydrogen absorption and desorption
  • Hydrogen as sensor and “tool” for the tuning of magnetic and electronic properties of metals and intermetallic phases
  • Reduction of metal oxide nano particles by hydrogen (400 bar/400° C)

Contact

Functional Materials

Department of Materials and Earth Sciences

Research focus

For the use of the energy carrier hydrogen the focus is on electrochemical (e.g. fuel cells) and thermo-chemical (e.g. hydrogen gas turbine) conversion processes. The Institute STFS investigates thermo-chemical conversion processes of solid, liquid and gaseous energy carriers. Here, gaseous chemically reactive flows play a central role, possibly interacting with fluids (e.g. sprays, wall films) and solids (e.g. pyrolysis of biomass particles, heterogeneous catalysis). At the Institute STFS we anaylze, model and simulate chemically reactive flows. This requires an interdisciplinary approach rooted in mechanical engineering and linking fundamentals of (technical) chemistry, mathematics and computer sicence.

STFS can contribute to the following hydrogen topics of your project:

  • Thermo-chemical conversion of hydrogen
  • Thermo-chemical conversion of gaseous energy carriers (e.g. liquefied natural gas) with variable hydrogen admixture
  • Use of hydrogen for the production of carbon-neutral fuels or conventional fuels
  • Stability analysis of hydrogen lean combustion processes (thermo-diffusive instabilities, thermoacoustics)
  • Modelling of the hydrogen direct reduction of metal oxides (e.g. in steel production)

Further project ideas about the thermo-chemical conversion of hydrogen is possible. We are looking forward to your inquiries!

Contact

Simulation of reactive Thermo-Fluid Systems

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Christian Hasse

Dr.-Ing. Arne Scholtissek

Research focus:

The mission of the Institute Surface Science at the TU Darmstadt is to improve the fundamental understanding of chemical and physical processes and their dynamics at interfaces and surfaces of materials for energy conversion and storage.

The group uses sophisticated methods of surface analysis with the aim to measure interfaces with high temporal and spatial resolution and chemical specificity. The aim is to better understand chemical processes of charge and mass transfer.

We operate integrated UHV systems combining several methods, such as photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS, UPS), scanning probe microscopy (STM, AFM), vibrational spectroscopy (TFIR, HREELS) and electron diffraction with the preparation of thin film model systems. Besides investigation under well-defined conditions we also measure samples under realistic operating conditions (in situ/in operando) with modern synchrotron spectroscopy and diffraction techniques.

Contact

Surface Science

Department of Materials and Earth Sciences

Research focus:

Governance of hydrogen strategy

  • Credible intervention of the state: development of infractucture development
  • Stabilization of expections: medium- and long-term plan for market integration
  • acomplishment of multilevel complexity

Competencies and methods

  • Content analysis
  • semistructured expert interviews

Research problems and topics

  • Is the governance of the hydrogen strategy suitable to prevent problems of coordination, such as political blockade?
  • Vertical integration of the states and local governments, how can local authorities be involved?
  • Integration of hydrogen in the European Green Deal
  • Hydrogen partnerships, a new topic in external economic policy between economic perspectives and sustainability requirements

Contact

Comparative Politics and European Integration

Institute of Political Science

Department of History and Social Sciences

Forschungsfokus:

We focus on the development of ideal precious metal free catalysts for energy applications, such as low-temperature fuel cell, photolysis of water or metal oxygen batteries. Besides the development of catalysts, we work on the structure determination, to draw conclusions from structure-property relationships for the optimization. Our main field is the group of M-N-C catalysts which achieve very good fuel cell characteristics with very low metal contents.

Contact

Research group: Catalysts and Electrocatalysts

Department of Chemistry

Research focus

  • Expertise, i.a., in thermal, electrochemical and photochemical nitrogen activation, water oxidation and oxygen reduction
  • Hydrogen storage in seconary materials, such as ammonia and hydrocarbons
  • Prediction of catalyst properties through computational chemistry and theoretical spectroscopy
  • Calculation of thermodynamic and kinetic profiles of catalysts, including targeted optimization
  • Computational chemistry and quantum chemistry with single- and multi-reference methods; prediction and analysis of electron structures in transition metal compounds

Contact

Theoretical Inorganic Chemistry

Department of Chemistry

Research focus

  • Fuel cells
  • Electrolysis
  • Nano particles
  • Electrochemical characterization
  • C02 reduction

Contact

Electrochemistry

Department of Chemistry

Research focus

  • Molecular simulation
  • Gas adsorption in carbon materials, e.g. carbon nanotubes
  • Gas separation with polymer membranes

Contact

Theoretical Physical Chemistry Group

Department of Chemistry

Research focus Corrosion

  • Systematic analysis of ambient effects on environmental hydrogen-induced cracking in connection with hydrogen generation, absorption and effusion
  • Understanding the hydrogen absorption and storage behaviour and the resulting effects on hydrogen-related mechanism of damages of high-tensile steels considering material condition and mechanical stress
  • Development of test methods

Research focus Mobility

  • Development of test methods to qualify compatible materials in cooling agents and electrofuels
  • With the help of exposure tests and test benches for flow (fuel cell emulators) allows a comprehensive mapping of the stress spectrum (thermal, electrical, fluid dynamics)

Methods

  • Hydrogen content measurement
  • Devanathan–Stachurski permeation cells
  • Experimental technology for hydrogen charge and discharge
  • Electrochemistry of stress corrosion cracking and corrosion fatigue
  • Several tension test benches to investigate the effect of hydrogen caused by corrosion and production on the endurable load
  • Autoclaves for exposure test in modern hydrogeneous fuels
  • flow test benches (fuel cell emulator)

Contact

Center for Engineering Materials

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research focus

The Chair of Fluid Systems is a pioneering research institute in the field of fluid energy machines and fluid systems. We consider ourselves as pioneers both for systems and for their components. We thereby span the spectrum from the fundamentals to the applications.

The social developments of modern times require rethinking the way of developing technical products and systems. In addition to energetic efficiency, technical solutions today need to be characterized by a low environmental impact while maintaining economic profitability. These requirements define the concept of sustainable product and system design and partly conflict with one another. Consequently, the optimal technical solution can only represent a trade-off between these criteria. With the method of Multi-Pole System Analysis (MPSA) the Chair of Fluid Systems provides a methodical approach for finding the optimal system with respect to sustainability conditions. The method of MPSA consists of (i) system synthesis, (ii) system analysis under uncertainty, (iii) stochastic optimization and (iv) sensitivity analysis. The method is applied to hydrogen-based energy systems, e.g. wind-energy converters (Power-to-gas) or combined heat and power (CHP) systems.

Contact

Fluid Systems Technology

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Multi-pole model of a wind-energy converter.

Research focus

  • Technology-neutral assessment of the ecological impact and potential of different electric driving concepts (i.a. plug-in-hybrids, fue cell drives, electric drives)
  • Optimization of propulsion and fuel cell sizing with respect to minimal energy demand and minimal environmental impact
  • Development of locally optimized operating strategies for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles
  • Application in passenger and commercial vehicles
  • Drive optimization based on real driving data

Contact

Mechatronic Systems in Mechanical Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Research focus

  • Heterogeneous catalysis
  • Transformation of renewable raw materials (bio-based platform chemicals and C02) for a sustainable chemical production
  • Porous and functional materials as innovative catalysts, adsorbents and membrane materials

Expertise

  • Catalyst preparation and characterization
  • Reaction engineering
  • Kinetic and mechanical investigations (experiment and modelling)

Contact

Technical Chemistry II

Department of Chemistryrose tu

Introduction

Renewable energies have fluctuations during day period (solar energy) and seasonal period (wind power). One proposed way to stabilize these fluctuations and secure the energy supply is to use the surplus electricity to produce hydrogen through water electrolysis. However, this viable methodology requires storage infrastructures for high amount of hydrogen. Underground storage is a very attractive storing option, because of its’ special characteristics. Based on the resulting estimation from HyUnder project*, Germany needs at least the equivalent storage capacity of 74 salt caverns to store the surplus of renewable energy sources as the hydrogen until 2050. However, detailed investigation of the salt caverns’ distribution shows that they are mainly available in the northern part of the Germany. In other side, storage formations should be close to the consumption points to reduce the costs and safety risks. To overcome this problem, we are proposing saline aquifers as a good candidate for hydrogen storage.

  • Unique potentials of Institute of Geothermal Science and Technology toward hydrogen storage

Hopefully, our solid background in underground fluid flow would help us to examine this process in details. Our capabilities are listed as below:

  • Analyzing the candidate aquifers (economical and safety aspects)
  • Estimation of the capacity of storage sites
  • THMC modeling of the involved processes
  • Planning and optimization of the injection and withdrawal flowrates
  • Proposing the geophysical methods to track stored gas phase
  • Safety analysis from environmental and infrastructure maintenance aspects Proposing remediation for the possible field scale problems

*HyUnder, “Assessment of the Potential, the Actors and Relevant Business Cases for Large Scale and Long Term Storage of Renewable Electricity by Hydrogen Underground Storage in Europe”, Executive Summary (2014)

Kontakt

Fachgebiet Angewandte Geothermie

Teilfachbereich Angewandte Geowissenschaften

Research focus

  • Curbing raw material and energy consumption is an essential prerequisite for a global sustainable development. With its expertise, the chair of Material Flow Management and Resource Economy contributes to solutions for concrete problems in the context of resource and energy efficiency: We use systems analysis methods in particular life-cycle analysis and material flow analysis. We elaborate scenarios and models, develop methods in analytical chemistry and work experimentally on the development of new processes and concepts for a circular economy. Our latest research topics are in the fields of energy technologies, resource-efficient production, urban mining, biobased economy and microplastics.

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Industrial Material Cycles

Department of Civil Environmental Engineering

Research focus

  • Functional nanomaterials
  • Gas adsorption and purification
  • Carbon nanomaterials
  • Materials synthesis
  • Functional nanomaterials
  • Carbon nanomaterials
  • Materials synthesis

Contact

Eduard-Zintl-Institut für Anorganische und Physikalische Chemie

Department of Chemistry

Research focus

The research interests of the group Materials and Resources are advanced synthesis techniques including microwave-heated, plasma-based, and soft chemistry methods as well as the development of (self-)regenerative properties of the materials during dynamic energy conversion processes. The in-house designed energy conversion materials cover the fields of thermoelectrics, power-to-X, and photo(electro)catalysis.

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Materials & Resources

Department of Materials and Earth Sciences