For energy transition and climate protection hydrogen (H2) is one of the key instruments to effectively reduce emissions from energy generation. If produced in a climate-friendly way, the versatile fuel is a compelling, sustainable, and efficient alternative to fossil energy sources such as coal, oil, and natural gas. The European Union intends to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. For this, Europe’s carbon emissions from energy generation need to be reduced significantly. To reach the climate targets, the energy consumption, too, must be brought down, and the availability of energy for the industry must be controlled in a flexible way, e.g. via flex operation of cogeneration power plants. New laws and regulations including the 44th Federal Immission Control Ordinance (44th BImSchV) determine stricter emission limits for plants with firing systems, gas turbines, and combustion engines, which plant operators need to comply with and furnish evidence of their compliance. The National Hydrogen Strategy also intends to speedily develop hydrogen technologies and ensure international market availability for the production and use of hydrogen in order to make the amount of hydrogen required for the conversion of application areas available as soon as possible. Sustainably produced green hydrogen can be used as a climate-friendly energy source for distributed power generation with gas engines, as fuel for vehicles, as raw material for chemical processes, and for longterm storage.

Green and Blue Hydrogen: Climate-neutral fuel and energy store

Compared to fossil fuels, the carbon emissions of sustainably produced hydrogen are much lower. About 96% of the hydrogen produced around the globe is produced from natural gas, oil, and coal. Not all hydrogen types come from zero-carbon production. Distinction is made between green, blue, turquoise, and gray hydrogen. Green hydrogen is produced via electrolysis using renewable energies, while blue hydrogen is produced using the steam reforming method in which the CO2 is captured and stored. At the bottom line, the production of both types of hydrogen is carbon-neutral.

Hydrogen approved for use as fuel for MWM gas engines

Besides the benefit of lower emissions, the use of hydrogen also affects the efficiency, initial investments, fuel and maintenance costs, and the material quality of the piston engines. The properties of hydrogen give rise to a number of structural requirements that must be met and that are vital for products that support hydrogen. For example, this includes a wide range of flammability (enables lean mixtures), high autoignition temperature (similar to methane), low ignition energy (risk of premature ignition and flashback), and potential material incompatibilities (embrittlement of the steel). The developers of the MWM gas engines have mastered these challenges through ongoing research.


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