Over the next few years, the Duisburg-based institute ZBT is investing more than € 5 million in the “HyTechLab4NRW – Integrated Laboratory for Hydrogen Technology in North Rhine-Westphalia”. This substantial expansion of the ZBT in the field of laboratory and measuring technology is made possible by the funding competition “Research Infrastructures” of the Operational Program of North Rhine-Westphalia for the promotion of investment in growth and employment from the European Regional Development Fund.
North Rhine-Westphalia, as the most densely populated federal state and one of the largest integrated industrial sites in Europe, is particularly challenged by the energy transition. Hydrogen is an important element in maintaining NRW’s industrial base. However, in order to establish hydrogen as a fuel, energy carrier or chemical raw material, solutions to overarching topics such as safety, quality and energy efficiency of different energy paths from regenerative electricity to the production, storage, distribution and use of hydrogen must be developed, tested and evaluated , In addition to knowledge of the individual components, their interfaces and interactions with the upstream and downstream components and systems must be taken into account. This can only succeed
The ZBT wants to face up to these challenges: The infrastructure in Duisburg will be expanded to meet the challenges of hydrogen technology in the future. The ZBT is already developing an extensive test field on its own site for the testing of hydrogen technology, from generation through storage to refueling technology for vehicles. With the “HyTechLab4NRW”, the ZBT will also be able to cover essential research areas from the development of novel materials to the testing of complete system-related systems.
The installations and facilities funded by the EU and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia with more than € 5 million include the development of comprehensive analytical capabilities. In the “HyTechLab4NRW”, new materials can be developed for innovative energy converters and existing components can be improved by using these new materials , Examples include low-noble or free catalysts for electrolysis and fuel cell technology. Another area is functional surfaces, eg as corrosion protection layers and new materials for the development of sensors for the quality assurance of hydrogen. In addition, the laboratory infrastructure of the center will be expanded to include fuel cells and plant components in the larger power range, for example for mobility or energy supply applications,
The project will be supported under the ERDF-0400163 program by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia in the ERDF NRW 2014-2020 “Investing in Growth and Jobs” program.
The Center for Fuel Cell Technology GmbH (ZBT) is one of the leading European research and development partners in the areas of hydrogen, fuel cells and battery technology. The institute currently employs around 100 people.