Continental opens new TechCenter for hydrogen technologies

Hamburg-Harburg, Germany – Continental has opened a new TechCenter for hydrogen technologies at its site in Hamburg-Harburg, Germany. In the future, the ContiTech group sector will use the TechCenter as a collaborative platform for knowledge exchange in this area. Innovations and the transfer of existing technical solutions for new applications in the field of hydrogen technologies are to be promoted.

The aim is to bring together experts from different fields and industries. These shall identify technical, regulatory and infrastructural challenges along the entire hydrogen value chain, as well as develop corresponding overarching approaches to solutions.

“The gradual transition from fossil to renewable energy is not just about replacing one form of energy with another”, said Dr. Michael Hofmann, Chief Technology Officer at ContiTech, at the opening ceremony. “Rather, the transition entails a transformation in all industries and sectors. In this context, the potential of hydrogen is enormous. In the future, it will play a crucial role in decarbonizing various industries in the production, storage and transport of green electricity. Our decades of materials expertise in a wide range of industrial applications enables us to work with partners to develop products and solutions that meet the new requirements.”

Dr. Piero Mancinelli, Head of TechCenter Hydrogen Technologies, added: “We will see relevant industrial use of hydrogen as an energy carrier as early as 2030, and exponential growth in applications in the areas of industry, heat generation and mobility in the following years. This broad spectrum requires joint efforts by a wide range of players. Hamburg offers excellent conditions to develop hydrogen technologies in an overarching approach.”

Continental and Renewable Energy Hamburg Clusteragentur GmbH (EEHH) organized a forum about “Hydrogen & Transportation” on July 5th in the Innovation Hub located at the Innovation Hub on Continental’s factory premises in Hamburg-Harburg. EEHH has already established a strong network of more than 100 “hydrogen players”, i.e., mainly small, medium and large enterprises as well as R&D partners. In addition, it created excellent framework conditions through joint activities for stakeholders from local politics, industry, universities and research institutions, dealing with topics in the field of hydrogen technologies, legal questions and economic demands.

The event with more than 50 participants from different industries and scientific institutions provided an opportunity for exchange and networking among stakeholders with a focus on hydrogen activities.

Hydrogen is produced by industrial processes and is an energy carrier that needs to be stored and transported. Currently, there are various solutions for the transport: compressed hydrogen with a pressure of up to 700 bar, cryogenic liquid hydrogen with temperatures below minus 253 degrees Celsius, or hydrogen combined with nitrogen to obtain ammonia, which is split again after transport. It is also possible to combine hydrogen with other organic liquids.

These very different transport conditions require an extensively prepared infrastructure along the entire hydrogen value chain. To ensure that the hydrogen arrives safely at its destination, hoses, lines, seals and fittings, containers and means of transport must have suitable properties, such as pressure or temperature resistance, for example. The selection and development of appropriately suitable materials is a key success factor for the extensive future use of hydrogen. Continental’s extensive technical expertise in handling a wide variety of gases and liquids in the classic industrial sectors, for example also in the oil and gas business, is now also benefiting the company in the development of completely new products that meet the significantly changed requirements of the new energy carriers.