Hydrogen Carriers

Detailed overview of innovation with sample startups and prominent university research

What it is

Hydrogen carriers are chemical compounds or materials that can store and transport hydrogen in a more stable and energy-dense form than pure hydrogen gas or liquid hydrogen. These carriers offer a solution to the challenges associated with hydrogen storage and transportation, such as low energy density and safety concerns.

Impact on climate action

Hydrogen Carriers within the Green Hydrogen domain facilitate climate action by enabling efficient transportation and storage of hydrogen. By overcoming challenges associated with handling and distribution, these innovations accelerate the adoption of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and mitigating carbon emissions.


  • Ammonia (NH3): Ammonia is a widely used chemical that can be produced from hydrogen and nitrogen. It has a high hydrogen content and can be easily liquefied for storage and transportation.
  • Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHCs): LOHCs are organic compounds that can reversibly bind and release hydrogen. They are typically liquids at ambient temperature and pressure, making them easier to store and transport than pure hydrogen.
  • Metal Hydrides: Metal hydrides are solid materials that can absorb and store hydrogen through a chemical reaction. They offer high hydrogen storage densities but often require high temperatures for hydrogen release.

TRL : 4-7 (depending on the specific carrier and application)

Prominent Innovation themes

  • Improved Ammonia Synthesis and Cracking Technologies: Researchers are developing more efficient and sustainable methods for ammonia synthesis and cracking (the process of releasing hydrogen from ammonia), reducing energy consumption and emissions.
  • Novel LOHC Materials: Innovations in LOHC materials are focusing on developing carriers with higher hydrogen storage capacities, faster kinetics for hydrogen release, and improved stability.
  • Hydrogen Carrier Infrastructure: Infrastructure for the production, storage, and transportation of hydrogen carriers is being developed to support their wider adoption.
  • Integration with Renewable Energy Sources: Hydrogen carriers can be produced using renewable energy, creating a sustainable and low-carbon hydrogen supply chain.

Other Innovation Subthemes

  • Advanced Ammonia Synthesis Techniques
  • Next-Generation LOHC (Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier) Materials
  • Metal Hydride Innovations
  • Sustainable Ammonia Production
  • High-Efficiency Ammonia Cracking
  • Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) Infrastructure
  • Metal Hydride Storage Solutions
  • Renewable Energy Integration with Hydrogen Carriers
  • Enhanced Hydrogen Release Kinetics
  • Ammonia-Based Maritime Technologies
  • Novel Catalysts for Ammonia Synthesis
  • Ammonia as a Zero-Emission Fuel
  • LOHC Technology for Industrial Applications
  • Metal Hydride Applications in Energy Storage
  • Ammonia Synthesis Process Optimization
  • Hydrogen Carrier System Integration
  • Advanced LOHC Stability Solutions
  • Metal Hydride Temperature Management
  • LOHC-based Fuel Cell Technologies

Sample Global Startups and Companies

  1. Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies:
    • Technology Enhancement: Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies focuses on Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology, which involves chemically binding hydrogen to a liquid carrier molecule for safe and efficient storage and transportation. Their solution allows hydrogen to be stored and transported at ambient conditions, simplifying logistics and reducing the risk associated with gaseous hydrogen.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies stands out for its innovative approach to hydrogen storage and transportation using LOHC technology. Their solution offers higher energy density and improved safety compared to compressed or liquefied hydrogen, making it suitable for a wide range of applications, including hydrogen refueling stations, industrial processes, and renewable energy storage.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies serves industries and applications requiring efficient and scalable hydrogen storage and transportation solutions. Their LOHC technology can be deployed in hydrogen infrastructure projects, hydrogen refueling stations, and industrial applications seeking to integrate hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy carrier.
  2. GenCell Energy:
    • Technology Enhancement: GenCell Energy specializes in hydrogen-based fuel cell solutions for off-grid and backup power applications. Their unique technology involves using ammonia as a hydrogen carrier, which is converted into hydrogen on-site using a proprietary catalyst. This approach enables efficient and cost-effective hydrogen generation without the need for compressed hydrogen storage or transportation.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: GenCell Energy stands out for its innovative use of ammonia as a hydrogen carrier for fuel cell power generation. Their solution offers a decentralized and on-demand method of hydrogen production, eliminating the need for costly hydrogen infrastructure and enabling reliable and sustainable off-grid power solutions in remote locations.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: GenCell Energy serves customers in various industries and applications requiring off-grid or backup power solutions. Their hydrogen-based fuel cell systems are deployed in telecommunications, utilities, and critical infrastructure projects, providing clean, reliable, and resilient power generation capabilities.
  3. Amogy:
    • Technology Enhancement: Amogy focuses on developing solid-state hydrogen storage materials for safe and efficient hydrogen storage and transportation. Their proprietary materials absorb and release hydrogen at moderate temperatures and pressures, offering a compact and lightweight solution for onboard hydrogen storage in vehicles and portable applications.
    • Uniqueness of the Startup: Amogy stands out for its solid-state hydrogen storage technology, which addresses the challenges associated with traditional hydrogen storage methods such as compressed gas or cryogenic liquid. Their solution offers high storage capacity, rapid hydrogen uptake and release kinetics, and improved safety, making it suitable for a wide range of mobility and energy applications.
    • End-User Segments Addressing: Amogy serves industries and applications requiring compact and lightweight hydrogen storage solutions for mobility, portable power, and energy storage. Their solid-state hydrogen storage materials can be integrated into fuel cell vehicles, drones, portable electronic devices, and stationary energy storage systems, enabling clean and efficient hydrogen utilization.

Sample Research At Top-Tier Universities

  1. Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE):
    • Research Focus: Fraunhofer ISE is a leading research institution in the field of renewable energy and hydrogen technologies, focusing on the development of hydrogen carriers as a means to store and transport renewable hydrogen efficiently.
    • Uniqueness: Their research involves the design and optimization of novel hydrogen carrier materials and systems, such as liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs), ammonia, and metal hydrides. They explore materials with high hydrogen storage capacities, low toxicity, and reversible release properties, aiming to overcome the limitations of gaseous hydrogen storage and enable long-distance transportation and bulk storage of renewable hydrogen.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work have applications in various sectors, including transportation, industry, and energy storage. Hydrogen carriers offer a versatile and flexible approach to store and distribute renewable hydrogen, facilitating its integration into existing infrastructure and enabling the transition to a sustainable hydrogen economy.
  2. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL):
    • Research Focus: NREL conducts cutting-edge research on hydrogen carriers as part of its broader efforts to advance renewable energy technologies and decarbonize the economy.
    • Uniqueness: Their research encompasses fundamental studies on hydrogen carrier materials, synthesis methods, and storage systems, as well as applied research on scale-up, cost reduction, and performance optimization. They collaborate with industry partners and academic institutions to develop innovative solutions for addressing the technical, economic, and environmental challenges associated with hydrogen carriers.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work contribute to the development of hydrogen storage and distribution infrastructure, hydrogen fueling stations, and hydrogen-powered vehicles and equipment. Hydrogen carriers play a crucial role in enabling the widespread adoption of green hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy carrier, supporting the transition to a carbon-neutral energy system.
  3. University of California, Berkeley:
    • Research Focus: UC Berkeley is engaged in pioneering research on hydrogen carriers, leveraging its expertise in chemistry, materials science, and renewable energy to develop advanced materials and technologies for hydrogen storage and transport.
    • Uniqueness: Their research spans from fundamental research on hydrogen bonding, catalysis, and molecular engineering to applied research on prototype development and system integration. They explore a range of hydrogen carrier options, including chemical hydrides, liquid carriers, and complex metal hydrides, aiming to optimize storage capacity, release kinetics, and safety characteristics.
    • End-use Applications: The outcomes of their work find applications in hydrogen refueling infrastructure, off-grid power generation, and industrial processes. Hydrogen carriers offer a practical solution for storing and transporting renewable hydrogen produced from intermittent renewable sources, such as solar and wind power, enabling the widespread deployment of hydrogen-based technologies and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

commercial_img Commercial Implementation

Hydrogen carriers are being implemented in various pilot projects and early-stage commercial applications. For example, Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies has partnered with companies to demonstrate the use of LOHCs for hydrogen storage and transportation in various sectors, including transportation and industrial applications.