The development of a sustainable, global energy system based on renewable energies requires a system for coupling all sectors of energy consumption. Green hydrogen, which is generated in a climate-neutral manner from renewable electricity, is a versatile energy carrier and is ideally suited for this. For the practical implementation of a functioning energy economy based on green hydrogen, storage and pipeline transport systems are necessary. Such pipelines are nowadays exclusively made of steel materials. Depending on the operating mode and pressure, they have to be oversized at a high cost, because steel tends to change its mechanical properties when it comes into contact with hydrogen (hydrogen embrittlement). Alternatively, pipelines can be made from fiber-thermoplastic composites. Although these are resistant to hydrogen, they are expensive to manufacture due to the manufacturing methods currently available. Thus, a significant cost advantage compared to steel pipelines is currently not possible.
The goal of isitec composites is to change this. With the help of a new manufacturing process, high-performance pipelines for transporting hydrogen can be manufactured inexpensively from fiber-thermoplastic composites. The basis for this is a direct impregnation process that makes it possible to process the raw materials, consisting of fibers and thermoplastic polymer, directly into the finished hydrogen pipe. As a result, intermediate steps of conventional manufacturing methods are avoided, which means that a significant cost advantage can be achieved. The new technology thus offers the opportunity to accelerate the establishment of a climate-neutral, hydrogen-based energy industry by reducing investment costs.