Linde starts up hydrogen extraction pilot

Article by Amanda Jasi

Linde explains that the technology at its Dormagen, Germany pilot plant can extract hydrogen from natural gas, and further process it to achieve purity of "up to 99.9999%"

LINDE has started up its full-scale pilot plant for extracting hydrogen from natural gas pipelines using membrane technology.

Located in Dormagen, Germany, the plant is demonstrating how hydrogen can be separated from natural gas using Linde’s HISELECT powered by Evonik membrane. The technology is key to enabling scenarios in which hydrogen is blended with natural gas and transported via natural gas pipelines.

According to Linde, natural gas blends can consist of 5–60% hydrogen. The HISELECT membranes can be used to extract hydrogen from these streams at the point of consumption, achieving hydrogen concentration of up to 90%. It says that further processing with Linde’s pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology increases purity to “up to 99.9999%”. PSA technology is based on physical binding of gas molecules to an adsorbent material.

Linde claims the pilot is the first full-scale pilot plant extracting hydrogen from natural gas using membrane technology.

Membrane technologies could be integral to achieving efficient transport of hydrogen to end-users for use as industry feedstock, as a source of heat and power, or as a transportation fuel. They could be vital to global efforts to establish hydrogen infrastructure.

As an accelerator facility, the pilot plant is expected to contribute to a low-carbon economy and pave the way for transporting hydrogen in natural gas pipelines. According to John van der Velden, Senior VP of Global Sales and Technology at Linde, by demonstrating transport of hydrogen via natural gas pipelines in a “real-life setting”, the Dormagen facility helps “avoid the high costs and the long process that would be involved in building a dedicated hydrogen pipeline infrastructure.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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