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Lithoz delivers CeraFab S65 to WZR for green hydrogen production

The Redox3D project will use cerium oxide to 3D print ceramic parts in partnership with DLR

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Lithoz GmbH, a leader in ceramic 3D printing, has delivered a CeraFab S65 System 3D printer to WZR ceramic solutions GmbH, a leading material development service provider active in ceramic 3D printing across multiple technologies. As part of the visionary Redox3D project to produce green hydrogen in solar tower powerplants through thermochemical processes, the Rheinbach-based company will use high-precision Lithography-based Ceramic Manufacturing (LCM) technology for the construction of cerium oxide components with highly complex lattice structures.

Dr. Johannes Homa, Lithoz CEO, shared his excitement at being part of “such important research, especially because we consider hydrogen generated with renewable energy the number one solution to saving our planet from further climate change. Lithoz is committed to supporting such projects using the industrial standard of LCM technology to make zero-emission societies a reality!”

Lithoz delivers CeraFab S65 to WZR for green hydrogen production in Redox3D project using cerium oxide partnership with DLR

The Redox3D project seeks to achieve the breakthrough of generating hydrogen entirely independently from fossil energy sources. This solar-thermochemical process, using a 3D printed ceramic material as the key enabler and sunlight as the primary energy source, is considered one of the key solutions in making zero-emission societies a reality.

WZR has been working with ceramic 3D printing since 2004 and became part of the Redox3D project, where they will partner with the DLR (German Aerospace Center) to determine the ideal lattice structure for the optimum solar heat penetration into cerium oxide components. For this important mission, which has received public funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Action (03EE5124A), WZR identified Lithoz’s industry-leading ceramic 3D printing system as a potential key technology to develop the solution, with the CeraFab S65 being their first own printer using DLP technology.

The challenges of this project, which will commence in two phases over a total span of 3 years, are perfectly suited to the innovative capabilities of Lithoz LCM technology. The first phase will test and optimize different 3D printing techniques to precisely control and process the cerium oxide ceramic material, with the key technology then being selected. In the second phase, the optimal structures will be designed, supported by calculations of project partner DLR, and then applied to complete the project. The filigree structure produced must be extremely complex to enable the deepest possible penetration of solar energy into the cerium oxide component, which is crucial to achieving the highest efficiency in the energy generation process.

“Using Lithoz’s powerful 3D printing technology and their proactive partnership approach, we are confident that we will achieve the levels of complexity and intricacy in filigree structures needed to achieve our goals in this project,” explained Dr. Dieter Nikolay, Managing Partner WZR. “Thanks to the speed and high-quality surface finish of this technique, we will once again be able to further drive innovation forward, this time with the production of green hydrogen.”

Thanks to the level of complexity and accuracy achievable via LCM, the high level of intricacy required in the structures can be produced, allowing solar energy to penetrate deeper into the parts and thus enabling a more efficient energy extraction process. The exact reproducibility of these parts is also crucial to the success of the project and is made possible with the LCM technique.

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