Towards Hydrogen-Fuelled Marine Vessels using Solid Hydrogen Carriers

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Solid hydrogen carriers, such as sodium borohydride or potassium borohydride, are considered promising options to enable the use of hydrogen as a fuel for marine vessels, because of their favourable gravimetric and volumetric energy density compared to compressed or liquefied hydrogen. When using solid hydrogen carriers, in the form of granules or powder, as fuel for marine vessels, a ’spent fuel’ forms which has to be stored on the vessel for the remainder of the voyage. The spent fuel has to be regenerated upon arrival at the destination port to achieve circularity. From an operational perspective, both the fuel and the spent fuel have to be stored for at least the duration of one vessel trip. To design the required storage and handling equipment to realize a circular bunkering process, the mechanical characteristics of both the fuel and the spent fuel e.g. particle size distribution, internal friction, cohesion, wall-friction, and flowability are required. However, little is known about these mechanical characteristics. Consequently, this paper aims to identify the relevant mechanical characteristics of solid hydrogen carriers in the context of bunkering marine vessels. Therefore, an extensive experimental plan using, amongst others, a ring shear tester and a ledge test is presented together with preliminary results of mechanical characteristics including time consolidation effects. The paper concludes with an outlook on the use of the results in DEM-supported design for storage and handling equipment, both onboard the vessel and in the port.