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Green hydrogen - i.e. hydrogen in which the energy required for electrolysis has been completely covered by renewable energies such as wind energy or solar energy - could be used as a sustainable alternative wherever gasoline, diesel, kerosene or heavy oil are burned today. On the one hand, it offers the familiar convenience of fast refueling and long ranges, but on the other hand, in contrast to the classic internal combustion engine, it produces no emissions other than water vapor when used in fuel cells - while remaining highly efficient. For this reason, DLR, the German Aerospace Research Center based in Cologne, is developing both special fuel cells and new types of hydrogen tanks for mobile use and integrating them into the respective overall systems, be they cars, buses, trucks, (cargo) bicycles, trains, aircraft - or even ships.

Particularly when it comes to transporting heavy loads over long distances, hydrogen-based drive solutions have clear advantages over battery concepts. DLR scientists are therefore conducting targeted research into innovative solutions for decarbonizing and reducing emissions from shipping, with a view to subsequently transferring them into practice in cooperation with industry. As the Cologne-based researchers will demonstrate at HANNOVER MESSE 2022, one focus is on developing and testing efficient energy systems for providing electricity, heating and cooling on board, which they hope to achieve primarily by using alternative fuels in combination with energy converters such as fuel cells with downstream battery systems.

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