Linde Engineering starts first hydrogen extraction plant

By Keefe Borden25 January 2022

Membrane technology can be used to transport hydrogen to end users for use as an industry feedstock, as a source of heat and power, or as a transportation fuel.

Linde Engineering has started up the world’s first full-scale pilot plant in Dormagen, Germany to showcase how hydrogen can be separated from natural gas streams using its membrane technology.

Linde’s HISELECT powered by Evonik membrane technology can separate hydrogen from natural gas streams at the point of consumption. The process enables midstream operators to blend hydrogen with natural gas and to transport the mix in natural gas pipelines. The blended gas could consist of between 5 and 60 percent hydrogen, the company said.

Membranes are then used to extract hydrogen from these natural gas streams at the point of consumption. The resulting hydrogen has a concentration level of up to 90 percent. When further processed with Linde Engineering’s pressure swing adsorption (PSA) technology, a purity of up to 99.9999 percent can be achieved.

Membrane technologies are vital to efforts around the globe for establishing hydrogen infrastructure, Linde said. In Europe, 11 transmission system operators are working on creating the European Hydrogen Backbone.

Their aim is to build and expand a functional hydrogen network, based largely on repurposed existing natural gas infrastructure. Membrane technology like HISELECT could be integral for efficiently transporting hydrogen to end users for use as an industry feedstock, as a source of heat and power, or as a transportation fuel.

“The HISELECT® demonstration in Dormagen allows us to display essential technology for transporting hydrogen via natural gas pipelines in a real-life setting. It shows a way to leverage existing infrastructure. In doing so we avoid the high costs and the long process that would be involved in building a dedicated hydrogen pipeline infrastructure,” said John van der Velden, senior vice president global sales & technology, Linde Engineering.

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