Converting electricity to hydrogen is the biggest opportunity we have as a society to enable large-scale renewable electrification and the reduction of carbon emissions, says renewable energy expert and entrepreneur Claes Fredriksson.
As CEO and Founder of Liquid Wind, Fredriksson is currently leading the Swedish company to produce liquid, carbon neutral fuel, eMethanol, from captured carbon dioxide and green hydrogen.
The Power-to-Fuel project sees Liquid Wind, Axpo, COWI, Carbon Clean Solutions, Haldor Topsoe, Nel Hydrogen and Siemens combine their expertise and technology to establish commercial-scale eMethanol facilities.
For Fredriksson, hydrogen provides a fantastic energy carrier. Hydrogen in a liquid form, as eMethanol, makes it more accessible to industries and infrastructure which may otherwise struggle to reduce their carbon emissions and meet their climate commitments.
Here in a short Q&A with H2 View, Fredriksson (pictured right) highlights the value hydrogen in this liquid form adds to the sustainability story.
Why do you/Liquid Wind think hydrogen provides a fantastic energy carrier?
The properties of hydrogen as an energy carrier are well known. It is encouraging to see the level of interest to scale green hydrogen and enable a more sustainable future. It’s really exciting to be part of this growing hydrogen community and through eMethanol, Liquid Wind can enable even more companies and industries to leverage the benefits of this green energy carrier.
What value does hydrogen in liquid form bring to the sustainability story?
One challenge with hydrogen is that the molecule is very small, light and requires energy to compress and store it. This increases the cost for storing and transporting Hydrogen.
A solution to this is to liquify hydrogen, which can be achieved with a combination of pressure and freezing. This process is energy intensive and the fuel has to be stored in cryogenic pressure vessels.
Is there a more effective way to liquify hydrogen?
Yes, by combining hydrogen with carbon dioxide. This results in a liquid at ambient temperature and pressure, CH3OH – methanol or eMethanol.
In this form the hydrogen is easy to store and transport. It is also compatible with existing liquid fuel infrastructure and can easily be adopted by industry and transport.
Which industries do you think are more likely to use eMethanol directly, rather than pure hydrogen?
There are several great opportunities, where companies need to reduce carbon emissions but are struggling to identify a viable fuel solution. For example;
- Due to the heavy fuel demand and long distances travelled by large international shipping vessels, hydrogen is not ideally suited for this application. However eMethanol provides an ideal shipping fuel. ‘Black’ methanol, derived from fossil fuels, is already in use as a shipping fuel and ‘green’ methanol or eMethanol could be directly substituted for this to reduce carbon emissions from
- The UK has banned the sale of new petrol, diesel or hybrid cars from However, over the coming 15 years and for the remaining lifetime of the cars already sold, they could continue to burn fossil fuels and release carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. eMethanol can be blended with petrol, to reduce total carbon emissions. With some modifications it can also be used directly (as a monofuel) in vehicle engines.
Liquid Wind is developing its first eMethanol facility in Sweden. The company plans to establish five more facilities in Scandinavia before expanding internationally to meet the growing demand for more sustainable fuel.