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Germany: Joint Technology Solution Linde and Evonik Want to Extract Hydrogen from Natural Gas Pipeline Networks

Editor: MA Alexander Stark

In order to extract hydrogen from natural gas networks, Linde and Evonik offer a joint technology solution. The fully integrated, holistic solution combines different technologies for gas separation.

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Hydrogen is an important feedstock for industry, which currently accounts for the lion’s share of all H2 produced.
Hydrogen is an important feedstock for industry, which currently accounts for the lion’s share of all H2 produced.
(Source: Linde)

Munich/Germany — Currently there is growing interest in the prospect of using the existing natural gas infrastructure more extensively to transport hydrogen (H2) – green H2 in particular. Numerous initiatives have already been launched around the world in order to develop enabling technology concepts. Existing pipeline networks could be used to efficiently transport H2 over long distances and deliver it to end points along this infrastructure, where it could be fed into industrial applications or provide a source of energy.

For this to happen, however, the hydrogen must be efficiently separated from the natural gas blend at the point of extraction. Linde and Evonik Industries already offer a fully integrated, holistic solution that brings together various technologies to separate the H2. This solution combines pressure swing adsorption (PSA), a technology in which Linde has decades of experience, with high-performance “Hiselect powered by Evonik” membranes to deliver hydrogen at purity rates of up to 99.9999 %. This high-purity stream of hydrogen could then be delivered to fueling stations, for example, to power fuel-cell vehicles. But it is also a valuable feedstock especially for the chemicals industry. H2 is an important feedstock for various industrial production processes and is required in high volumes for these applications. A demo plant at the Linde Dormagen site in Germany will act as a showcase for the efficiency and cost effectiveness of this technology.

One of the first successful reference cases building on the collaboration between Linde and Evonik in the field of membrane-based gas separation was a helium processing plant in Mankota, Canada, which went on stream in 2016. The two separation processes — membrane and PSA technologies — were also combined in this facility. It was the first helium processing plant of its kind worldwide and now processes more than 250,000 standard cubic meters of raw gas per day to gain industrial-grade helium purity levels (99.999 %). Following on from this success, the companies expanded their collaboration, developing gas separation solutions for natural gas processing, synthesis gas applications and ammonia plants.