Mabanaft and NACOMPEX are jointly tackling one of the key technological challenges of the energy transition: the efficient and safe storage of hydrogen. To this end, Mabanaft is acquiring an equity stake in the company headquartered in Dresden, Saxony, where NACOMPEX researches and develops innovative energy-storage systems. “We want to play an active role in shaping the energy transition and to offer our customers innovative solutions that they can use to reduce their CO2 emissions,” explains Volker Ebeling, Senior Vice President New Energy, Chemicals & Gas at Mabanaft. “Our investment in NACOMPEX GmbH underlines our commitment to a promising technology in an important future market. This technology could represent a simplified way to bring hydrogen as an energy carrier right to our customers’ doorsteps, so to speak.”
Using the FeRedox process developed by NACOMPEX, the team led by Managing Director Claudia Hain is working on energy-storage systems that aim to significantly boost the efficiency of the electricity-hydrogen-electricity energy conversion chain. “Storing H2 is still complicated and expensive and still impeding the widespread use of hydrogen,” Hain explains. “Our idea is to store the energy of hydrogen in iron pellets using a redox reaction with iron – cost-effectively, reliably and with a high energy density. In this way, hydrogen can be easily and safely stored and transported as well as efficiently recovered and converted into electricity.”
Hydrogen for zero-emission mobility
Several projects are planned to determine reliable parameters for the technological use of iron for storing and transporting hydrogen on a larger scale. For example, in cooperation with the Dresden University of Technology, NACOMPEX will set up a research facility to test the operational performance of the iron-filled storage containers used to store hydrogen. And as part of the FutureHDrive project, the FeRedox storage technology is being scaled up as a 1 MWh standard module for hydrogen storage. The system will be constructed in the form of a stationary container and prepared to be integrated on a rail vehicle. Using this type of system, it will be possible to use electricity from renewable energies or hydrogen produced from them in the transport system, expectedly in a highly efficient manner.
The investment in NACOMPEX GmbH is directly related to Mabanaft’s Sustainable Fuels Strategy and ties in with its ongoing hydrogen- and power-to-liquid projects, such as AquaVentus and P2X-Europe. “If we want to achieve the climate targets, the decarbonisation of the transport sector will have to happen more quickly,” explains Oleksandr Siromakha, Head of Sustainable Fuels at Mabanaft. “We want to contribute to these efforts by supplying sustainable fuels. In doing so, we will rely on the broadest possible technological basis. The advantage of our cooperation with NACOMPEX is that the FeRedox process can in principle also be employed for efficiently producing synthetic fuels that can then be used without any problems in the existing service station infrastructure.”
Germany’s federal government is also impressed by the NACOMPEX approach. The FutureHDrive project is part of its National Hydrogen Strategy and NACOMPEX is receiving just under €1.8 million in funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), bringing the total funding for all three project partners to almost €3 million.
Mabanaft GmbH & Co. KG is a leading independent and integrated energy company, providing its customers with innovative energy solutions for their transportation, heating and industrial needs. In addition, the company is active in trading petroleum products, natural gas liquids, chemicals and biofuels.
NACOMPEX GmbH, a bw-energiesysteme GmbH company, is developing two patented technologies for the storage of electricity and energy for various applications in the decentralised and centralised energy supply as well as in mobility. Energy storage is a key technology for shifting the economy towards renewable energies as the most important source of energy for the future.