Hydrogen start-up Sunfire reports rising demand from cosmetics industry
Clean Energy Wire
The cosmetics industry is increasingly interested in using renewable hydrogen, according to German electrolysis start-up sunfire. Hydrogen made with renewable power can be used to make waxes, a common ingredient in beauty products that is currently produced using fossil fuels, Sunfire marketing manager Katja Mattner told Clean Energy Wire at the industry trade fair in Hanover.
The idea of replacing fossil fuels with renewable hydrogen is also spreading rapidly in many other industrial sectors, Mattner said. “Industry is increasingly focusing on this topic. While many companies are just about to start, the pioneers are already beginning to scale up,” Mattner said with reference to steelmaker Salzgitter, which has recently announced its second hydrogen electrolyser project in cooperation with Sunfire. But most industry applications remain showcase projects, because the regulatory framework means that electricity is too expensive in Germany for large-scale commercial use, Mattner said. “We’re currently planning a large e-fuel project in Norway, because electricity is so cheap there.”
Using renewable electricity to produce hydrogen and CO₂-neutral methane could solve some of the Energiewende’s toughest challenges. Making gas with wind and solar power could also provide carbon-neutral fuel for heating and transport and pave the way for large-scale seasonal energy storage. But a lot of energy is lost during the conversion, making the technology comparatively expensive.