Dr. Stefan Kaufmann, the innovation commissioner “Green Hydrogen” of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) visits the office of SIQENS GmbH in Munich.
The Member of the Bundestag was welcomed by Volker Harbusch (Managing Director), Thomas Esser (Director Sales & Investor Relations), Tim Rossié (Director Operations) and Jonathan Kriegelstein (Product Manager). During a joint tour of the production facilities, the innovation commissioner was able to get an insight into fuel cell production and was informed about the role of SIQENS technology in the decarbonization of decentralized energy systems and backup power supply for critical infrastructure.
In the exchange, Volker Harbusch explained how the SIQENS Ecoport 800 fuel cell system works: a hydrogen fuel cell that extracts the hydrogen required for operation from liquid methanol and is used to replace diesel generators. “Methanol is the simplest hydrogen carrier available and much easier to transport than hydrogen, which requires energy-intensive compression,” Harbusch noted. “In addition, methanol can be produced in a variety of ways based on renewable feedstocks.”
The ensuing discussion focused on the national hydrogen strategy and methanol as a hydrogen carrier. For instance, possibilities to better integrate alternative hydrogen carriers such as methanol into future projects and to reduce market barriers for renewable fuels were addressed. Dr. Kaufmann emphasized the importance of a technology-open approach with regard to hydrogen infrastructure and climate protection.
“As a liquid storage medium, methanol is capable of ensuring an economical and decentralized supply of hydrogen. For us, methanol plays a central role in the rapid and cost-effective development of the hydrogen infrastructure,” says Volker Harbusch. “Methanol-powered hydrogen fuel cells like those from SIQENS complement the use of solar energy and battery storage – and can make diesel generators obsolete in remote regions or for critical infrastructures.”
SIQENS, founded in Munich in 2012, develops and produces methanol fuel cells. The devices are used as an alternative to diesel generators and are used for backup power, as well as in locations without a fixed connection to the power grid.
The SIQENS fuel cell system, the Ecoport, runs on liquid methanol. Inside the Ecoport, hydrogen is derived from the methanol. The hydrogen then reacts with oxygen to generate electrical energy. The Ecoport is connected to a battery and automatically recharges it as needed. Connected electrical devices are supplied directly from the battery. Thanks to patented circuits for the recovery of process media and energy, the system runs exceptionally efficiently.
In contrast to diesel generators, fuel cells are economical, require hardly any maintenance and emit neither particulate matter nor nitrogen oxides, in addition to significantly reducing CO2 emissions. And with methanol from renewable sources, operation is completely climate-neutral.
Learn more about SIQENS fuel cells.