HyGear has installed a hydrogen generation system at DB Schenker’s facility in Linz, Austria, capable of providing hydrogen for 10 forklift trucks for at least one year.

The installation of the hydrogen generation system is part of the so-called E-log biofleet, a partnership between Fronius International, HyCentA Research, Joanneum Research, Linde Material Handling, OMV, HyGear and DB Schenker.

The project aims to increase the productivity of battery-powered forklift trucks and intralogistic technology that until now has been restricted by battery charging and changing, limited battery life and high maintenance costs.

HyGear’s hydrogen generation system generates 4Nm3/h hydrogen from methane derived from biogas.

“It is very important to us that we operate in an environmentally friendly manner,” said Kurt Leidinger, Chairman of Schenker & Co.

The DB Schenker facility in Linz provided a suitable trial location, where fuel cell powered forklift trucks can be tested under normal operating conditions. Fronius and Linde Material Handling delivered the first vehicle in June, while the remaining nine will be delivered over the coming months.

“Using hydrogen derived from biogas is very sustainable: a wide variety of renewable, locally available and decentrally processed raw materials and biogenic waste materials can be used,” said Martin Beermann, Head of hydrogen technology research at Joanneum Research.

The start of field trials was given by the Austrian Federal Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, Doris Bures, and will last for one year, during which time the technological maturity of the system and its advantages in terms of productivity and ecology will be verified.