Green hydrogen - an alternative to fossil fuels

A delegation of representatives from politics, business and science accompanied the Minister of Economics, Labor and Tourism of the State of Baden-Württemberg, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, to Chile and Brazil to further advance climate protection and the energy transition. Dr. Monika Bach, Division Director for Biomedicine and Material Sciences at the NMI, accompanied the trip, which focused on the topic of "green hydrogen". At the NMI's Center for Nanoanalytics, an interdisciplinary team of scientists is working, among other things, to elucidate the atomic structure of interfaces and surface layers within the membrane-electrode unit of an electrolyzer using high-resolution electron microscopy. This will lead to a deeper understanding of the material properties in order to be able to increase the efficiency of these electrolytic cells. This topic plays a central role in the topic of energy production from hydrogen.

Hydrogen can be produced from water in an electrolysis process using electricity, and thus offers itself as an alternative and versatile energy carrier of the future. Unlike a battery, which gradually discharges, hydrogen can also act as a long-term store without much loss of energy and can later be converted back into electricity, or used as a raw material wherever and whenever it is needed. Energy generated from renewable sources thus remains usable and could be used independently in terms of both time and space. Chile and Brazil have valuable raw materials that are needed for the energy transition. Faced with the question of how sustainable and resource-efficient business can be promoted in Baden-Württemberg in the future, the aim was to establish trusting energy partnerships, identify new cooperation projects with local partners and expand contacts. The wind- and sun-rich areas with sufficient unused land prove to be ideal for the production of so-called green hydrogen. Both countries are therefore important potential producers. The highlight of the delegation trip was the visit to a pilot plant for the production of environmentally friendly, so-called green hydrogen in Fortaleza, Brazil.

In order to drive forward the production of green hydrogen, concrete start-up financing is needed locally, as well as an exchange of expertise and knowledge. Even if the economic framework conditions are not yet optimal, it makes sense to push ahead with the development of hydrogen production now in order to lay the first foundation stone for the energy transition.



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