UT Institute of Chemistry and engineering design and consultation company NT Bene begin cooperation to develop the production of hydrogen—fuel of the future. By the end of 2018, the first hydrogen refuelling and production station in Estonia will be established in Pärnu. The idea is to apply unique solutions which enable to fuel buses and automobiles with hydrogen.
Director of UT Institute of Chemistry Enn Lust said that Estonia’s first hydrogen fuelling station and production complex is built in Pärnu because the Via Baltica road passes through there. The long-term plan in Pärnu is to create zero-emission public transport. At the moment, the plan is to acquire buses fuelled with hydrogen and build a hydrogen production station, storage device and universal fuelling station to use them.
Hydrogen buses and cars are machines where the tank is filled up with high-pressure hydrogen which is directed to the heating element which emits water vapour and the electricity on which the machine runs.
Lust described that the first task of the UT Institute of Chemistry is to consult the development of solutions for complex electricity production, storage and water electrolysation and hydrogen storage and test the prototypes of some materials, energy storage devices or electrolysers and join them into an integral hydrogen fuel complex.
According to Lust, the aim is for the outcome of the project to solve several important problems. Taking into consideration what was revealed at the discussions for preparing the Estonian energy management strategic plan, Estonia has serious difficulties in producing the so-called renewable transport fuels in accordance with the European Union 20/20/20 objectives. Therefore, producing hydrogen with electrolysation and using it in the project to develop hydrogen infrastructure in Pärnu and later in all of Estonia, but also increasing the fuel calorific value of biomethane with electrolysed hydrogen and using it in means of transport could alleviate the lack of “renewable” transport fuel production in Estonia.
Also, the project helps achieve the goals of the legally binding global climate agreement signed by 195 countries at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.
UT and NT Bene OÜ signed a cooperation agreement to conduct research in an innovative field and develop the project “N2Nodes—evolution of a European hydrogen refueling station network by mobilizing the local demand and value chains”.
The project is part of the transport network developed in the EU, which consists of eight high-tech network corridors called TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Network) and are part of the North Sea-Baltic Core Network Corridor. There are less than 200 similar solutions in Europe.