Na­tion­wide hy­dro­gen week

The "Hydrogen Week" is taking place across Germany from 15 to 23 June. Companies, universities, networks, initiatives, districts and cities are inviting people to a wide range of events centred on this energy source. The focus is on hydrogen in all its facets and with the full range of possible applications: Mobility, transport, production, storage and infrastructure.

At Paderborn University, we are using the campaign week as an opportunity to give this beacon of hope a special stage - in the form of a themed special, this landing page and with a hands-on activity in the city: Citizen Science in one of the first Mercedes-Benz electric busses with a hydrogen fuel cell. Our scientists will take participants on an exciting journey through experiments.

„The global demand for energy and mobility must be met without producing climate-damaging substances. Otherwise, we will not be able to achieve the climate targets we have set ourselves.”

Prof. Dr. Matthias Bauer,
Chemiker an der Universität Paderborn

Cit­izen sci­ence in the hy­dro­gen bus

Event on 21 June

On 21 June, our scientists will take participants on an exciting journey in the PaderSprinter hydrogen bus.

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Fuel for the en­ergy trans­ition

Hydrogen is a key component of the energy transition. Only with it can green energy be stored and transported in sufficient quantities, industry be decarbonised and the transport transition in the transport sector, on the railways and in the air succeed.

But what exactly is green energy? As a rule, it refers to electricity that is generated from renewable energies. In other words, it comes from renewable sources. This is particularly sustainable and better for the environment than coal or nuclear power, for example. As part of the energy transition, electricity generation from lignite and hard coal is to be phased out and the expansion of renewable energies is to be driven forward.

Green hydrogen, which is produced on the basis of green electricity, is seen as a beacon of hope. "The global demand for energy and mobility must be met without producing substances that are harmful to the climate. Otherwise, we will not be able to achieve the climate targets we have set ourselves," says Prof Dr Matthias Bauer from Paderborn University. Among other things, the chemist is researching how hydrogen can be produced using sunlight.

With the National Hydrogen Strategy, the German government has set out the framework for its future production, utilisation and reuse. One of its declared goals is to gradually switch to green hydrogen in the fields of transport, industry and the heating market. In the medium and long term, fuel cell technology in particular is to be widely used in the mobility sector. "Decarbonisation - i.e. the significant reduction of carbon-based energy sources - is crucial for a fundamental structural change in public transport, private cars and transport logistics," says Bauer.

Top­ic spe­cial "Hy­dro­gen"

Paderborn University aims to play a leading role in both the research and development of this technology in the future. Various projects in the field of basic research and application-oriented research are contributing to this. We will be presenting selected activities here as part of a themed special from 17 to 21 June.

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Cit­izen sci­ence in the hy­dro­gen bus: ex­per­i­ments on Pader­born's town hall square

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En­cyc­lo­pae­dia on hy­dro­gen and the en­ergy trans­ition

Hydrogen is a chemical element ("H" or "H2") that is largely bound in water ("H2O") on earth. Electrolysis, in which hydrogen and oxygen are separated, stores energy without producing greenhouse gases or air pollutants. Hydrogen is completely climate-neutral when it is "green". This means that water is broken down into its components using renewable electricity - i.e. electricity generated by wind turbines or solar panels, for example.

The terms are generally used synonymously. These include solar energy, hydropower, wind power, geothermal energy and bioenergy, which generate sustainable and CO2-neutral electricity. Renewable energy has the advantage that it is obtained from renewable sources and its resources are inexhaustible. In addition, the generation of green energy does not produce any climate-damaging emissions.

Fossil energy is an energy source in which energy carriers such as brown coal, hard coal, peat, natural gas and crude oil are burned. Fossil fuels have developed over millions of years from the decomposition products of dead plants and animals and are not regenerative. In addition, fossil fuels are the main source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions and thus of global warming.

The energy transition means ensuring the long-term supply of energy such as electricity and heat from sustainable, renewable or regenerative sources for the economy and society. The energy transition aims to reduce the proportion of fossil fuels in Germany in favour of renewable energies.

Fuel cells are technical devices that make hydrogen usable for the energy industry. They are energy converters that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. They are environmentally friendly and produce no harmful emissions. In a hydrogen vehicle, for example, the fuel cell drives an electric motor.