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Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader , Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

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  • Aug 1, 2022

Neo Orbis, which will be built by a Dutch shipyard after winning a tender, will use sodium borohydride as its fuel source

The Neo Orbis passenger vessel — designed to operate in Amsterdam’s canals and in the channel between the city and the North Sea — will be powered by hydrogen released from a salt called sodium borohydride (NaBH4).

This solid chemical is mixed with pure water and a stabiliser to form a non-combustible liquid fuel, with the dissolved NaBH4 then reacting with a catalyst to release hydrogen, which is then used to drive a fuel cell.

The Neo Orbis will be built by Dutch shipbuilder Next Generation Shipyards after it won a competitive tender from the Port of Amsterdam and H2Ships project, which is co-funded by the EU.

“The major advantage of this hydrogen carrier is its high energy density and that it can be bunkered safely in many places,” said Interreg North West Europe, an organisation sponsoring the H2Ships project.

“The ship will pave the way for scaling-up of this technology for inland and short-sea shipping.”

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