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Techno-economic Aspects of International Hydrogen Production and Transport

Dr. Sebastian Timmerberg

Scientific Consultancy for the German Federal Transport Ministry

Friday, March 5, 2021 3:30-4:20pm

Dr. Sebastian Timmerberg received his PhD in the field of sustainable engineering from the Technical University of Berlin in 2020. Since 2018 he co-leads the group for renewable fuels at the Hamburg University of Technology. Sebastian specialized in renewable energies in his M.Sc. and B.Sc. studies at RWTH Aachen including a research stay at UC Berkeley and IIT Delhi. Furthermore, he holds a M.Sc. in economics from RWTH Aachen. Sebastian’s main interest lays in the field of renewable fuels for transportation. With his team (10 research employees) he assesses power-to-liquid fuels, hydrogen and so called advanced biofuels. Typically, techno-economic and techno-environmental aspects are considered. He and his team are having a system’s perspective taking the needs of non-transport sectors into consideration. Currently, Sebastian is responsible for the topic of renewable fuels in the scientific consultancy for the German Federal Transport Ministry “mobility and fuel strategy”. Furthermore, he investigates the potential for substituting LNG through biomethane for shipping and on-road heavy duty vehicles.


Limiting climate change requires a transformation of the energy system towards low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Hydrogen is seen as a linking element in this transformation. For example, it can be produced with low life-cycle GHG emissions from renewable energies (wind/solar) but also from fossil fuels. However, hydrogen has a low volumetric energy density which makes it uneconomical to transport gaseous hydrogen over long distances. Within this presentation techno-economic aspects as well as GHG emissions of hydrogen production pathways (electrolysis, steam reforming, methane decomposition) and of hydrogen transport (e.g. LOHC, methanol) are discussed.