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Exolum undertake project to demonstrate the bulk transport and storage of LOHCs

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Molly Cooper

Journalist at Tank Storage Magazine.

Exolum will be the first company in the world to physically transport and store hydrogen through liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs) in commercial-scale, repurposed oil pipeline and tank storage infrastructure.

Exolum and its project partners have secured the support of the UK Government, through public funding of £505,000 via Innovate UK, to carry out this innovative project at Exolum’s Immingham terminal in the Humber region. This is a major milestone in the company’s decarbonisation and diversification strategy, one of the objectives of which is to promote the development of hydrogen as an energy vector.

LOHCs are oil-like compounds that can absorb and release hydrogen through chemical reactions, and therefore LOHCs can be used as storage and transport medium for hydrogen. Previous projects have technically proven the processes required to attach and release hydrogen from LOHCs. Through this project, Exolum and its partners will demonstrate the only step in the LOHC process which has yet to be technically proven and demonstrated – its transport and storage in existing repurposed oil infrastructure.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 and will store and transport 400 cubic metres of LOHC, carrying around 20,000 kg of hydrogen (enough to drive a hydrogen passenger car around 2 million kilometres), between the Immingham East and Immingham West facilities via a 1.5 km pipeline. Laboratory testing will take place to confirm that the LOHC quality is maintained.

This project will allow Exolum to gain valuable information and insights into using its infrastructure for the transport and storage of LOHCs, a major step forward in the development and research of new storage and distribution technologies for new energy carriers, as well as a natural extension of its service offering.

Felix Gomez, technology and innovation lead at Exolum says: ‘At Exolum we are constantly working to accelerate the energy transition through the development of new logistics solutions for the energy carriers of the future. This project is a clear example of this and highlights the high potential of using existing energy infrastructure for new energy carriers.’

‘Exolum has one of the most efficient and modern logistics system in the world, so its possibilities of use in the new energy transition scenario are highly realistic and have the potential to be game-changing,’ adds Andres Suarez, global strategy and growth lead.


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