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Hydrogen is reacted with toluene to form methylcyclohexane (MCH), a compound that can be transported at ambient temperature and pressure.



Technology

What is it?

Hydrogen is reacted with toluene to form methylcyclohexane (MCH), a compound that can be transported at ambient temperature and pressure. The hydrogen can be extracted after transport via the application of heat or catalysis.

Why is it important?

Hydrogenated toluene can carry hydrogen in liquid form at ambient temperature and pressure.

Characteristics

  • Volumetric hydrogen density: 47 kg/m3
  • Gravimetric hydrogen density: 61 g/kg
  • Storage conditions: Ambient storage, should be kept below 30°C. Container should be carefully sealed to prevent exposure to sunlight, heat and humidity
  • Roundtrip Energy efficiency: <50%

Benefits

  • Stays in liquid state under ambient temperature and pressure
  • Minor loss over long-term storage and transport
  • Can utilise existing oil and chemical infrastructure for storage and transportation

Limitations

  • Both toluene and MCH are toxic substances
  • Purification requirements
  • Need to return carrier if exported
  • High temperature required for both hydrogenation and dehydrogenation

RD&D priorities

  • Lower the hydrogenation and dehydrogenation temperature and pressure
  • Develop catalysts using cheap elements and with improved efficiency

Known active organisations

  • CSIRO
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • The University of Western Australia

Other opportunities like this

Process group

Readiness Level

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