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GREAT NEWS: DB Cargo develops economical transport solution for large quantities of hydrogen

GREAT NEWS: DB Cargo develops economical transport solution for large quantities of hydrogen
photo: Deutsche Bahn/GREAT NEWS: DB Cargo develops economical transport solution for large quantities of hydrogen
13 / 09 / 2022

DB Cargo has announced plans to transport hydrogen via freight train as an efficient alternative to pipelines, which currently do not exist for this type of cargo.

The German government has estimated that hydrogen demand will reach around 100 terawatt-hours by 2030, which is a significant portion of the country's total energy needs. DB Cargo hopes to provide an efficient and safe supply chain for German industry by transporting hydrogen from ports to industrial customers located further inland.

According to Dr. Sigrid Nikutta, head of DB Cargo and member of the DB Group's Management Board responsible for freight transport, "Hydrogen will play a weighty role in the future energy mix. There are currently many new initiatives on how green hydrogen can reach Germany by sea. We have developed a solution for this that brings hydrogen easily and efficiently from the ports to consumers in the hinterland, especially to our industrial customers."

Dr. Nikutta went on to say that the German rail network is an environmental network with more than 35,000 kilometers of track and 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," she added.

Most hydrogen imported into Germany is in liquid form, which makes it easy to transport by ocean-going vessels. DB Cargo, in collaboration with energy suppliers, has developed a concept for transporting liquid hydrogen to customers located far from seaports, which can be done using tank cars that are already widely used in the chemical industry. In cases where hydrogen is to be used as an energy source, the cargo is "cracked" back into its components, with the hydrogen separated and used as an energy carrier.

DB Cargo is also actively involved in a range of hydrogen logistics solutions, including the development of innovative hydrogen containers and the testing of logistics for pure hydrogen. This latter solution makes sense when it comes to the small-scale distribution of pure hydrogen to decentralized customers and users, such as hydrogen filling stations.

Moreover, DB Cargo is involved in the delivery of hydrogen-powered trains, such as those being tested by DB Regio on various lines. The rail freight operator is also a co-partner in the "Reallabor Burghausen ChemDelta Bavaria" - a non-profit company that is testing hydrogen in tough industrial conditions in the Bavarian chemical triangle.

Overall, DB Cargo's involvement in hydrogen logistics reflects the growing importance of hydrogen as a critical component of Germany's energy mix, and the company's commitment to sustainable and efficient transportation solutions for this important energy carrier.