by Keri Allan
12 Sep 2022
DB Cargo has presented its capabilities of transporting large quantities of hydrogen by freight rail.
Hydrogen is expected to play an important role in Germany’s future energy mix – the Federal Government estimates the need for hydrogen at around 100 terawatt hours per year up to the year 2030 – and plans are afoot to bring green hydrogen to the country by sea.
In co-operation with energy suppliers, DB Cargo has developed a solution for transporting this hydrogen inland via rail.
As hydrogen arrives in Germany bound in liquids rather than in gaseous form, tank wagons that are already widely used by the chemical industry can transport it.
This is because the hydrogen is only separated ready for use as an energy source once it reaches its destination.
“We’ve developed a solution that brings the hydrogen easily and efficiently from the ports to the consumers in the hinterland, especially to our industrial customers.
“This is how we create a secure and efficient supply chain for the German economy.
“The German rail network is an environmental network with a route length of more than 35,000 kilometres. DB Cargo alone serves more than 2,100 interfaces, customer connections, terminals and inland ports.
“Green hydrogen needs green logistics – and we can already offer that today.”
DB Cargo is currently working on a number of different hydrogen logistics solutions.
This includes being a partner in the non-profit company Reallabor Burghausen ChemDelta and delivering hydrogen trains for DB Regio, which are currently undergoing testing across Germany’s rail network.
The company is also developing new hydrogen containers and testing the logistics for pure hydrogen.
This will be most useful in the case of small-scale distribution of pure hydrogen to decentralised customers and users, such as hydrogen filling stations.
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