Pillars of Progress: Mobility – Bringing hydrogen compression to the next level

Hydrogen-fuelled vehicles could help the drive to a greener European future. But to be used as vehicle fuel, gaseous hydrogen must be compressed at refuelling stations. Funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) has led to innovative solutions that will significantly facilitate hydrogen compression, providing better refuelling stations offering transport an attractive renewable fuel.

Hydrogen is usually produced at low pressure and must be compressed before it can be used at a hydrogen refuelling station. Current compressor technologies are expensive and energy intensive, thereby reducing the efficiency of hydrogen mobility. Therefore, breakthrough solutions to increase the efficiency and lifetime of hydrogen compressors are needed.

Three FCH JU-financed projects are aiming to make hydrogen compression more flexible and reliable, reducing costs for customers at the fuel pump. The COmbined hybrid Solution of Multiple HYdrogen Compressors (COSMHYC) project, launched in 2017, is developing and testing a hybrid compression system which combines a mechanical compressor with a compressor based on metal hydrides. This innovative solution contains no rare earth material, reduces maintenance and operating costs while achieving top performance levels.

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