The hydrogen economy is still in its infancy and Germany urgently needs liquefied gases to ensure supply security. By 2043, however, hydrogen is expected to contribute significantly to decarbonizing industry, shipping and aviation.
One thing is clear: modern energy hubs with multimodal connections are and will remain enormously important for energy imports. The Hanseatic Energy Hub’s future-flexible design enables the optimum use of different energy carriers.
LNG is a non-toxic, colorless and odorless liquid. The abbreviation LNG stands for liquefied natural gas. The gas is condensed into liquid by cooling it to -162°C at atmospheric pressure, which means that the gas then takes up only 1/600 of its gaseous volume. This makes it easy to transport and store. This is achieved without any losses thanks to the state-of-the-art insulation materials used for the ship and storage tanks, without the need for additional cooling. The same applies to bio-LNG and SNG, which is synthetically produced LNG.
Bio-LNG, which is also known as liquefied biomethane, has the same material properties as “conventional” LNG and can also be processed in the Hanseatic Energy Hub right from the start. This green energy carrier can be obtained from various biomass substrates. Biomethane producers, such as Verbio, see considerable potential here and are in the process of converting their facilities accordingly so that the biomethane, which has so far mainly been used in freight transport, reaches the required quality for the German natural gas grid.
Synthetic natural gas (SNG) is associated with power-to-gas technology. This enables green electricity generated, for example, by wind farms or solar parks, to be stored by means of electrolysis: water is split into H2 (hydrogen) and O2 (oxygen). The oxygen is released, leaving hydrogen (H2), which is enriched with CO2 in a further step to form CH4 – synthetically produced natural gas. It has the same material properties as the fossil variant. This means that SNG can also be processed directly in the terminal right from the start.
Hydrogen (H2) is the most common natural element in the universe and is present on Earth in almost unlimited quantities. It burns without releasing CO2. Source materials that contain hydrogen include water, biomass and natural gas. The hydrogen can be separated using chemical, thermal or solar energy. The Hanseatic Energy Hub is relying on ammonia as a means of transporting hydrogen, as its handling, transport and storage have been tried and tested over many years.
Ammonia is already one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world and has many uses. After transport, it can be converted back to hydrogen or can be used directly as CO2-neutral fuel. Corresponding technologies are making rapid progress. Ammonia can also replace climate-damaging bunker oil as a marine fuel in future.
Stade offers another advantage when it comes to hydrogen: industrial park neighbor and partner Dow has more than 50 years of on-site experience in handling liquefied gases and is a German leader in the extraction and use of hydrogen.