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OX2 helps decarbonize heavy industries and transportation through Power-to-X

March 11, 2024, 07:00
Electricity generated from renewable sources can be used to produce other energy carriers. This conversion is collectively referred to as Power-to-X, where X represents the range of possible end products, such as renewable hydrogen and e-fuels.

"Power-to-X will be crucial in the transition of sectors that are not suitable for electrification but rely on sustainable fuels for decarbonization, such as the steel industry or the shipping industry. Our large-scale renewable projects will play a significant role also as part of power-to-X," says Morten Langsholdt, who heads up OX2’s Power-to-X efforts since joining the company in August 2023.

Decarbonizing the shipping industry

A concrete example is emerging on the Åland islands, in the middle of the Baltic Sea. Here, OX2 and development partner the Bank of Åland are looking into hydrogen and power-to-X production at the Port of Långnäs. The idea is to produce e-fuels to help decarbonize the shipping industry, the backbone of the Åland economy, using electricity from nearby offshore windfarms currently under development.

The production process starts with electrolysis, where desalinated seawater is split into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can be stored and used as an energy carrier or further refined into other forms of energy, such as methanol or other e-fuels.

Oxygenating the seabed

For every kilogram of hydrogen produced, eight kilograms of oxygen are generated. Typically, in an electrolysis process, oxygen is a byproduct released into the air, but at sea, it can be put to better use.

"The Baltic Sea, where the majority of our offshore wind power projects are being developed, is severely affected by oxygen deficiency, resulting in reduced marine life. Therefore, we are exploring the possibility of pumping the oxygen from hydrogen production to oxygenate the bottom water and restore conditions for marine life," says Morten Langsholdt.

Intensifying our efforts

Hydrogen and power-to-X are relatively new technologies for OX2 and we are currently intensifying our efforts, headed by Morten:

"There’s a strong momentum and a lot of development happening in Power-to-X at the moment. We see that the markets in the Nordics, particularly Sweden and Finland, have projects with strong fundamentals for this technology. So, this is where our focus is right now, while the broader market matures."

A key success factor in an endeavor of this magnitude is having the right partners.

"We are entering into strategic partnerships along the entire value chain, from technical solutions and commercialization to sustainability. These are truly large-scale efforts; no one can do it alone," says Morten Langsholdt.

Head of Power-to-X
Morten Langsholdt