During King’s Day 2021, His Majesty the King and his family will be guests at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven. From a studio they participate in a special online and TV broadcast in wich Brainport Eindhoven presents itself on the basis of the theme Making Knowledge.

DENS X2 Hydrozine generator and GEM

During this day the DENS X2 Hydrozine generator delivers emission-free energy to the GEM Tower. The GEM(Green Energy Mill) is a hybrid, fold-out striking tower that makes festivals more sustainable. The tower generates energy via solar panels and a wind turbine, where the energy is stored in a battery. The hydrozine generator ensures that on off-grid locations the energy supply can be increased completely emission-free and the GEM-Stage is no longer dependent on weather conditions.


“At a bit of a festival, a large row of generators is soon stamped out, wich runs through thousands of liters of diesel. Diesel is one of the most polluting fuels in existence,”said Max Aerts, CEO of DENS. With the hydrozine we deliver a clean and easily applicable alternative at the touch of a button. In order to achieve the climate goals, it is really important that we work together with the latest technologies. With GEM-Stage we can ensure that we can give an event the same entourage in a sustainable way, completely emission-free.

The GEM Stage is an initiative of PowerVIBES, a European Interreg NWE project. Project partners: Eindhoven University of Technology, ZAP Concepts, Flexotels, Eurosonic Noorderslag, Pukkelpop, RPS Conservation Services, Off Grid Limited, Double 2 Media Productions

FullTank takes up its role as a fuel supplier for the DENS hydrozine generator

DENS, developer of the Hydrozine generator and Fulltank, the fuel supplier to the construction site, will soon start a pilot project in which the Hydrozine generator will be tested in the field. Naturally, the supply and quality of the Hydrozine provided by FullTank is essential for a succesfull pilot. Hydrozine is the hydrogen carrier and is also called formic acid.

We are in the midst of the energy transition in which the sustainability goals are substantial. We will only achieve these objectives if we work together with the latest innovative technologies. In addition to the reduction of CO2, other harmful emissions will also have to be reduced, such as the nitrogen problem and the health risks associated with harmful emissions of particulate matter.

“The mission of  DENS to drastically accelerate the energy transition, is in line with our vision,”says Hans de Baat, owner of FullTank. With the installation of 6 heat pumps and 300 solar panels on the roof, a start has been made on making the AdBlue factory and the FullTank building more sustainable, so that they will be completely self-sufficient. In addition, as an energy supplier in The Netherlands and Belgium, FullTank has an important role in supplying fuels on location at the lowest environmental impact. In the context of electrification of the construction equipment and the associated exchange of battery packs, Fulltank is taking the step to charge the machines on location with zero emissions using the DENS generator. The collaboration then speaks for itself.

DENS has developed a generator that produces electricity based on the hydrogen carrier hydrozine. Hydrozine makes it possible to store and transport large quantities of hydrogen. The use is very similar to that of conventional fuels such as diesel or petrol, so it fits well within the existing infrastructure that FullTank already has. The Hydrozine is converted back into hydrogen in the generator and then into electricity by a conventional fuel cell. In this way, hydrogen can be used as a sustainable energy source in a user-friendly and safe way.

“In this pilot, FullTank will provide the distribution of Hydrozine as a fuel supplier and act as a supply chain specialist. Besides taking care of the distribution, with our FullTank sensor we have insight into current situations such as stocks, forecasts and we can make adjustments if necessary, so that the customer always has a full tank. “The knowledge and experience of FullTank will provide DENS the possibility to be able to use the generator directly at any desired location, including the delivery of Hydrozine.

F&L Powerrental started working as a rental pilot partner with the DENS Hydrozine generator

The Netherlands is working hard on the energy transition, achieving the sustainability objectives.To achieve this goals, we will really have to work together to test the latest innovative technologies. That is why F&L Powerrental and DENS will carry out pilots with the Hydrozine generator especially for rental applications.

F&L Powerrental, a well-known player in the world of festivals and events as a rental specialist of electricity, water and light for decades In addition to the event sector, requests are now also coming from other sectors such as construction and infrastructure, municipalities and the manufacturing industry where F&L Powerrental has currently conquered a prominent position in the market. By working daily on sustainable solutions and expanding an emission-free rental fleet, F&L Powerrental also strives for an emission-free and energy-efficient future.

The collaboration with DENS, developer of the Hydrozine generator, is a major step forward in the possibilities for an emission-free construction site. The generator generates electicity, based on the liquid hydrogen carrier Hydrozine. Hydrozine makes it possible to store and transport large quantities of hydrogen in standard stainless steel or plastic packaging units. The use is therefore very similar to that of conventional fuels such as diesel or petrol. The hydrozine is converted back into hydrogen in the generator and then into electricity by a conventioal fuel  cell. In this way hydrogen can be used in a user-friendly and safe way as an emission-free and sustainable energy source. Because both the reformer process and the conversion in the fuel cell take place at low temperatures, no harmful substances such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides or particulate matter are created. In addition, the process is completely whisper quiet. “The cooperation pilots with a rental partner are essential for us to gain a good insight into wich aspects are important for a good rentable generator that can be widely deployed’” says Max Aerts CEO of DENS. For example, together we will work especially with the user interface and various application areas.”

“We are proud that we are the first lessor to be able to get started with this type of generator. As F&L Powerrental, our business is future-proof and we therefore invest in smart, sustainable solutions at an early stage. We have been following developments at DENS closely for 3 years. We all know the objectives of 2030 and 2050, so that means we have to start now to be ready on time.” said Ralph van Veen, director of F&L Powerrental.

DENS and Heijmans are testing Hydrozine generator at Atlas Living Lab in collaboration with Eindhoven University of Technology.

Last month, DENS ran a succesful pilot with the Hydrozine generator on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology. During the pilot, the generator produced 200kWh of energy without emitting harmful emissions.

An unique form of energy generation on the construction site.

As part of the energy transition and emission-free construction, tech company DENS and construction company Heijmans are starting a trial with a new form of energy generation. It is a Hydrozine generator that replaces the traditional diesel generator on the construction site. This generator, called the DENS X2, works without the emission of harmful substances such as fossil carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides and particulate matter. The purpose of this generator? Creating an acceleration in the energy transition and making sustainable energy available at every location.

Hydrozine as a sustainable fuel for the DENS X2 generator

Renewable energy can be generated anywhere by using the liquid fuel Hydrozine in the DENS generator. Hydrozine consists mainly of formic acid and is produced with carbon dioxide, water and renewable electricity. The same elements are released when using the fuel, making Hydrozine a 100% CO2 climate neutral solution. The innovative generator from DENS can generate more than 20kW of energy per hour. This offers the possibiltity to provide the power requirement of a small construction site with CO2 neutrality, in contrast to the often used diesel generator. The ease of use of the X2 is comparable to the diesel generator, due to the fast start-up, the power supplied, refueling and moving.

Why Heijmans believes in the Hydrozine generator

Both the nitrogen crisis and the climate change pose major challenges for the construction sector. Heijmans wants to tackle these challenges and is therefore one of the frontrunners in the field of emission-free construction. The DENS generator provides construction companies with CO2 neutral and nitrogen-free electricity for the construction site. This sustainable power makes it possible to electrify construction equipment on a larger scale and then to charge it in a sustainable manner, so that electrical construction can also take place without a grid connection. “In this way, the generator has become the backbone of the zero-emission construction site and thus a strategic piece of equipment for a sustainable future.”- says Stefan Daamen Sr. Sustainability advisor at Heijmans. This technology is in line with Heijmans’ vision of making construction activities more sustainable. Working together to stimulate sustainable innovations!

Purpose of the pilot

In preparation the construction site, a first trial was carried out at the location where the development started more than five years ago, at Eindhoven University of Technology. The pilot could take place as part of the Atlas Living Lab component, an OPZUID project of the TU/e, wich offers young companies from the South region the opportunity to test new sustainable technologies in a controlled practical situation. These tests serve as an opportunity to gain experience for further use of the technology in society. Atlas, the most sustainable renovated building in the world according to the BREEAM standard, plays a role in this as a Living lab. During the test period, a lot of knowledge was gained about the technology of the X2, the logistics and the storage of Hydrozine in an user environment, in a safe environment outside the workshop of DENS. The pilot also shows how the X2 can function as support for an existing energy network.

Results of the pilot

The electricity generated by DENS was used to charge the electrical machines of De Enk and to supplement the electricity network used by the Atlas building. De Enk provides the green areas around Atlas and the rest of the TU/e campus. If more electricity is required in the future because of an event or larger number of electric vehicles, the DENS generator can function as support for the electricity network. The successful outcome has prepared DENS for the second phase of the collaboration with Heijmans: on-site testing.

DENS-demonstrator has been made possible in part by a contribution from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under OP-Zuid

Formic acid generator as the backbone for the electrified construction site

Edo Beerda 14-01-2021 SOURCE: Cobouw. More and more construction site equipment is electric, but that provides little environmental benefit if charging is done by a smelly diesel generator. The formic acid generator offers a solution. Refueling costs a bit more, but you do have an environmentally friendly energy source.

The construction site of De Groene Boog will soon have the first ‘hydrozine generator’. Voorbij Funderingstechniek, which is working there on a new section of A16, will charge its electrical equipment with the DENS X2: a midi digger, an anchor drilling machine, a machine for high-speed piles and a 20-tonne shovel. “In this work, our generator forms the backbone of the construction site, it supplies all electrical machines with energy”, says a proud Max Aerts of supplier Dutch Energy Solutions (DENS). “Charging infrastructure is the major challenge of the electrified construction site. And we have a solution for it”.

The generator he developed with his start-up company in Helmond runs on hydrozine, better known as formic acid. This is a liquid hydrogen carrier, which has an important advantage over gaseous hydrogen: being that no compressor or heavy pressure tanks are required for storage.

Hydrozine contains 53 grams of hydrogen per liter and can be produced by adding CO2 after electrolysis of water. The generator developed by DENS is equipped with a fuel cell. After the generator has removed the hydrogen from the formic acid, this fuel cell turns it into clean electrical energy. “The process is similar to putting a Mentos in a bottle of Coke” says Aerts.“The gas that is released when it starts to bubble is captured and converted into electricity by the fuel cell”.

Refueling is easy. Formic acid is a liquid fuel that simply comes to the construction site in plastic tanks. You just  have to dump it in the 6000 liter tank. The generator from DENS delivers a nominal power of 20kW and has a 60 kWh battery. “If it runs 24 hours a day, it can produce about 480 kWh of clean energy per day.” says Aerts. “That’s enough to run all Voorbij’s equipment.” Urban Mobility Systems (UMS) is involved in the project as a supplier of the battery systems and is responsible for the electrification of the equipment.

Closed carbon circuit

The innovative generator is quite thirsty. Almost a liter of formic acid passes through every minute. This is because a liter of formic acid contains only one fifth of the amount of energy contained in a liter of diesel (10kWh). The waste products released during the process are water vapor and CO2. Nevertheless, the formic acid generator is CO2 neutral, Aerts explains. “You first add CO2 to make hydrozine and then emit it again when you use it. So it is a closed carbon cycle, in which carbon dioxide functions as packaging”.

Further emissions are not involved in the formic acid generator. No nitrogen, sulfur oxide, particulate matter is released and the device runs “whisper quiet”. This is because energy production is not a combustion process, but the result of a chemical reaction.

DENS has big plans for its innovation. The first four generators have already been sold to various construction companies. “But we expect to deliver dozens more this year,”says Aerts.

The ambitions go even further. The company is investigating together with UMS whether it is possible to equip construction equipment with a hydrozine system. Because then they no longer need to charge the generator, the can simply refuel. This can be an interesting option, especially for heavier equipment. “The reason is, that you would need so many batteries that a mobile hydrozine drive is more practical, efficient and cheaper, “says Aerts. “so instead of exchangeable battery packs, you get exchangeable hydrozine packs.” A heavy excavator would be able to work continuously  with such a modular system. The founders of DENS already proved this is possible when they were students at Eindhoven University of Technology. Then they built a formic acid system for a bus for VDL Groep.

Using a hydrozine generator is more expensive than a diesel generator, the costs per kWh are about twice as high, Aerts estimates. ”However if you include the social costs of particulate matter, CO2 and nitrogen that are being released during diesel consumption, it is cheaper. ”He expects costs to fall sharply as the scale of the market for electrical construction equipment grows and CO2 capture becomes more common. “This can become significant, especially with heavy equipment, because hydrozine is a much more efficient energy carrier than hydrogen.

Dutch Energy Solutions (DENS) was founded five years ago at Eindhoven university of Technology as Team FAST. This student team, in collaboration with VDL, built a concept system for a bus in which an electric motor was fueled with energy by means of formic acid. At the end of this project, the team further developed the system into a stationary generator for construction sites. This was tested as a generator at a BAM infrastructural construction site during the construction of the N211 near Poeldijk, the first CO2 negative road in the Netherlands. In 2018, the student team continued as an independent start-up at the Automotive campus in Helmond.

Secretary of State van Veldhoven pays a digital visit to DENS and the Brainport Smart District

Secretary of State Stientje van Veldhoven visited DENS and the Brainport Smart District (BSD) on the 30th of November, to understand how circular construction occurs in practise. Due to the active coronavirus measures this visit was online. Secretary of State van Veldhoven was impressed by all the different innovations that have emerged in Helmond. “We cannot miss any opportunity in supporting the transition to a circular energy in the construction industry. The developed innovations by BSD and DENS contribute to an enormous scale jump that we support. I like to pick up the gauntlet in order to work together on ripening the smart innovations of our partners, so that eventually this can be implemented within a bigger scale”, thus the Secretary of State.

At an online meeting van Veldhoven started a discussion with of among others councilor Cathalijne Dortmans, mayor Blanksma and Maxime Verhagen, chairman of “Bouwend Nederland”, and entrepreneurs Max Aerts and Tijn Swinkels of DENS. She was showed how DENS contributes to the Construction Site of the Future with the implementation of Hydrozine.. “Hydrozine, also known as formic acid, supplies sustainable electricity for electricity generators., completely free from harmful emissions and noise. With this we contribute to a cleaner construction site and the reduction of harmful emissions. To accelerate the energy transition in the construction industry, we decided to put our technique on the agenda of the Secretary of State”, tells Max Aerts, founder of DENS.

Trial Garden
After the conversation with DENS, the Secretary of State was updated about the developments in the Brainport Smart District. This developing area in Helmond is a place where sustainable innovations from the Brainport Area can settle and partners jointly dare to experiment. The Hydrozine generator developed by DENS will also be utilized for construction projects within the Brainport Smart District and this is one of the many components that contribute to the innovative and circular character of the area. “Trial gardens like BSD are of great importance for the many transitions within different regions that our country and region have to go through, for example sustainability and circularity. Innovation funds and investments, national and international, are of the most importance to test, try out and improve our innovative concepts.” Said councilor Cathalijne Dortmans and also the chairman of ‘the Stichting Brainport Smart District’.

Infrastructural project of the A16 in Rotterdam suits as a test for nitrogen reduction in the construction industry.

Infrastructural project of the A16 in Rotterdam suits as a test for nitrogen reduction in the construction industry.

The government is supporting a pilot for an emission free construction site

The first fully electric 25 tons excavator of the Netherlands is operating during constructional work of the new A16 highway in Rotterdam. That makes the A16 the first project to utilize the pilot regulation for reducing nitrogen in the construction industry and starts operating with the electrification of materials. During the first half of 2021 more electric materials will follow. These are the first initiatives that have to contribute to the process of becoming a sustainable sector. Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen applauds the initiative of the market players: ‘the first to shoot wins: great work! Fantastic that that the A16 project can be executed in this way. When putting out contracts we shall put more weight towards the emission free working methods.

Electric materials working on innovative energy sources

Besides the earlier mentioned excavator, more electric machines will be used for the project during the first half of 2021, for example a 30 tons crawler excavator, a 16 tons mobile excavator, an asphalt saw, and a 20 tons shovel. The machines will be powered by innovative energy sources, like an generator working on formic acid and five hybrid generators with a battery pack and solar panels. Furthermore, there will be an ultra-low sand transhipment because of the method used during the movement.

The construction industry recognizes urgency of sustainability

Stefan van der Voorn, contract manager at Rijkswaterstaat, explains the in initiative: ‘the electrification of material is a measurement used to make the industry more sustainable. And this is badly needed considering the climate crisis and nitrogen problems. The electrification of material helps the reduction of nitrogen during the construction of road.  The A16 in Rotterdam also has high sustainability ambitions during the usage phase. It will become the world’s first energy neutral highway with a tunnel.  So work is being done on several fronts on the sustainable development of infrastructure.

Multiple sustainability initiatives

Innovation is not something you do alone. Sjoerd Gijezen, CSR-manager at consortium “de Groene Boog”: we notice willingness from companies within the building combination and partners to invest in sustainability. Together with them different innovation sessions were organized to move one step further towards an emission free construction site and to utilize the pilot in the correct manner. Within the project of the A16 in Rotterdam we take, besides the electrification of construction material, also other sustainability measurements. Building material and trucks drive on a 100% HVO-fuel. Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) fuel is a biodiesel produced from residual flows originating from the food and wood industry. With this an 89% CO2 reduction is obtained in comparison with diesel fuel. We create a pedestrian bridge from recycled concrete, tunnel lighting is being optimized and later solar panels generate energy for the utilization of the high way and tunnel. The newest initiative is called “the material passport”. By capturing which materials are used during the project, a opportunity arises to start future reuse.”

About the pilot
In the interest of reducing the nitrogen emissions in the construction industry the government has decided to start a pilot within the industry (25 million euros). With this regulation the government hopes to obtain knowledge and experience with the introduction of zero-emission mobile materials within a broader spectrum of the construction activities, including the soil, road and water construction. Between Rijkswaterstaat and the Minister of infrastructure and water state an agreement has raised that in 2020 a pilot will start to promote a zero-emission mobile materials for the infrastructural project the A16 in Rotterdam.

About the collaboration

The sustainability proposals concerning the electrification emerge from a collaboration between consortium “de Groene Boog ( (BESIX, Dura Vermeer, Van Oord en de TBI-companies Croonwolter&dros en Mobilis) and partners ABX zaagmij, Anker Grondverzet, Ploegam, Voorbij Funderingstechniek, UMS and DENS. Sjoerd Gijezen states: “Great to see how during the sessions of this project the involved partners were very open about their ambitions and developments concerning electrification. Eventually, this resulted in cross pollination which is really important for the sector.” The proposals were tested by the independent agency CE Delft in collaboration with sustainability consultants from Rijkswaterstaat.

The A16 in Rotterdam a good accessibility of Rotterdam, Lansingerland and the surrounding region is important for strong economy and a well liveability. The A16 in Rotterdam contributes to that. The new, 11 kilometers long and energy neutra highway with a tunnel connects the A16 with the A13 in Rotterdam the (near  the “Terbregseplein”).

Collaboration between the companies DENS, Voorbij Funderingstechniek and UMS

DENS joins hands with Voorbij Funderingstechniek (a foundation engineering company) and Urban Mobility Systems (UMS), and works together on the sustainability process of foundation engineering, construction and the infrastructure industries by means of the electrification of machines and a generator that runs on Hydrozine.

We are truly proud that Voorbij Funderingstechniek takes, combined with DENS and UMS, on this big and important step towards the electrification and a more sustainable foundation engineering, construction and infrastructure industry.

Voorbij Funderingstechniek is one of the leaders within the foundation engineering industry regarding sustainability.  In June, they already announced the shift towards HVO B100 fuel. Now they go to the next step in collaboration with DENS and UMS. DENS is a fast growing company that wants to accelerate the energy transition with their Hydrozine generator. UMS is an expert of electrification solutions among others in the area of industrial vehicles. They develop the battery systems for DENS, which is an important part of the generator. The collaboration between DENs, UMS and Voorbij Funderingstechniek is a huge step in connecting the supply chain. UMS concerns itself with the development and the electrification of a midi excavator, a shovel and a pile driver. DENS provides the required energy to charge the electric foundation equipment with their Hydrozine generator. Coming closer toward 2030, there will be more developments. This is a huge step towards the end goal of a fully electric and emission free construction process.

How does the Hydrozine generator work ?

The Hydrozine generator is an unique and versatile technic which is capable of delivering emission free energy by using the liquid substance Hydrozine. The generator operates on the liquid hydrogen carrier Hydrozine, which does not need pressure tanks in its liquid form, in contrary to hydrogen itself. Hydrozine consists of 53 gram of hydrogen per liter, and can therefore store huge amounts of hydrogen in a save way. Within the generator, the hydrogen is immediately regenerated from the Hydrozine and converted in a fuel cell into clean electrical energy.  This keeps the generator as user-friendly as the “old” diesel generator. With this generator we can work with batteries that are charged by using Hydrozine. This makes us the first in the world to charge a midi excavator and a shovel within a 24-hour cycle.

Dot on the horizon

UMS will soon start with the first electrification of the midi excavator, shovel and pile driver. After that, Voorbij Funderingstechniek will also start using the Hydrozine aggregate. However, they are taking steps to implement this more widely within Voorbij Funderingstechniek. The technology and electrification can easily be scaled up, so that in the future we can also generate sustainable energy for more and larger electrified construction materials.

In contrast to the “old” diesel generator and the old pile driver, the Hydrozine aggregate and electrified foundation equipment is CO2 neutral, whisper quiet and there are no emissions of nitrogen, sulfur oxide and particulate matter. We are extremely proud that this collaboration is a major and important step towards the electrification and a more sustainable foundation technology, construction and infrastructure industry.


Hydrogen-like fuel is a solution to environmental problems in the construction industry

10-08-2020 17:18 | BY: MARC SEIJLHOUWER

DENS is working together with Urban Mobility Systems (UMS), a company that makes electric vehicles. For the construction industry they  already made an electric excavator and a “Knikmops”. DENS is the company that emerged from the student team Team FAST, which developed a technology to use formic acid as a sustainable fuel.

Hydrozine is a good alternative to diesel, according to DENS CEO Max Aerts. Unlike hydrogen, you can put this fuel in a simple plastic storage tank. “You have to keep hydrogen under pressure. This requires a compressor and special, more expensive storage tanks. Hydrozine is an attractive alternative”.

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The easiest  application are generators which DENS thinks can be succesfull.. The generator consists of a battery that supplies power to all kind of electrical building materials. When the battery is empty, the hydrozine system switches on: formic acid is converted into hydrogen, which enters a fuel cell and generates electricity.

Just as expensive as diesel

A hydrozine generator costs about the same as a diesel generator. “A grid connection is the cheapest option. But you often don’t have that possibility on a construction site, then this is an attractive, environmentally friendly option”, thinks Aerts. Exactly how environmentally friendly the formic acid is depends on how you make it. DENS now uses green gas, made from biomass. “We also want to ensure that it is environmentally friendly biomass, for example from sewage sludge”.

Other companies are working on a hydrozine electrolyzer plant.”For that technique, the company OCO is working on a pilot factory”. The production of hydrozine is less efficient than the production of hydrogen. “But it is cheaper and better in every step after production, because you can easily transport and store it”.

The studentteam Team FAST made a formic acid system for a bus. At first, the fuel was intended for sustainable mobility. Aerts:”But that was more of a demonstration of the technology. In the automotive industry we see that electric cars are on the rise. Perhaps formic acid can help in the long term for heavy transport: “DENS may also want to develop such a hydrozine system for construction machines, so that they no longer have to charge at the generator but can simply refuel.

A climate neutral airport

DENS can make the most impact in the short term during construction, Aerts thinks. But his company is also looking at other applications. “Although they are now stationary, festivals can make good use of the hydrozine generator and it can also be a good solution at airports to meet the climate objectives”. DENS will start field tests of the generating set before the end of this year. The company wants to start serial production from next year.

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