Hydrogen – with emissions of water
Hydrogen is one of the fuels of the future, and a key component in the transition to a climate-neutral society for many industries, including shipping. And it is easy to understand why, as the primary emissions from burning hydrogen are – water.
Hydrogen gas (H2) comprises two atoms of hydrogen, which is the most common of all the elements. The gas is known as an energy carrier, which means that when it comes into contact with oxygen during combustion, large amounts of energy are released. This reaction with oxygen (O) forms H2O – regular water. To convert hydrogen gas from being an energy carrier into electricity, it needs to be passed through a gas turbine, fuel cell or internal combustion engine.
The production of hydrogen can take place in many different ways, with both fossil and fossil-free sources. The Horizon vessels aims to be powered exclusively by fossil-free hydrogen, for example through electrolysis and wind power.
We chose hydrogen due to the amount of energy required to power a ship, and the special requirements for the Gotland Service. We are working on being able to handle hydrogen gas at room temperature, for example by compressed hydrogen which is the most efficient. The alternative of cooling hydrogen to liquid form, (-253 degrees Celsius), requires more energy than keeping it in gaseous form at room temperature.
Gotland Tech Development, the lead-developer of the Horizon series, is involved in several collaborative projects aimed at producing fossil-free hydrogen in Sweden, and in projects focusing on the handling, storage and bunkering of hydrogen.