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Linde Engineering starts up plant for extracting hydrogen from natural gas pipelines

Membrane technology for low-carbon economy
Linde Engineering starts up plant for extracting hydrogen from natural gas pipelines

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Full-scale pilot plant in Dormagen, Germany, for extracting hydrogen from natural gas pipelines Picture: Linde

Linde Engineering has officially started up the world’s first full-scale pilot plant in Dormagen to showcase how hydrogen can be separated from natural gas streams using Linde’s Hiselect powered by Evonik membrane technology. The process is a key enabler for scenarios in which hydrogen is blended with natural gas and transported via natural gas pipelines. The blended gas could consist of between 5 and 60 % hydrogen. 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 %. 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. 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,” says John van der Velden, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Technology, Linde Engineering. Linde covers every part of the hydrogen value chain, from source to service. Regardless of whether customers want to use hydrogen as a zero-emissions source of fuel, a feedstock gas for industry or a source of heat and power for buildings – Linde has the technologies and expertise to support every project.

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