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Plant can help decarbonise hard to abate sectors [Image: Linde]

By Maureen McCall


World Technology Germany

Germany’s Linde Engineering said January 20 it had started up the worlds first full-scale pilot plant, in Dormagen, Germany, designed to separate hydrogen from natural gas pipeline streams using membrane technology.

As countries decarbonise by mixing hydrogen into natural gas distribution systems, Linde’s membrane technology enables extraction at points of consumption, the company said. Hydrogen with a concentration level of up to 90% is extracted which can be processed with Linde’s pressure swing adsorption technology to a purity of up to 99.9999%.

“The demonstration in Dormagen allows us to display essential technology for transporting hydrogen via natural gas pipelines in a real-life setting, said John van der Velden, Lindes senior vice president, global sales & technology. 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.” 

In Europe, 11 transmission system operators are working to create a functional hydrogen network based on repurposing existing natural gas infrastructure.

Linde’s membrane technology could be key for delivering hydrogen to end-users for use as industry feedstock, a source of heat and power, or as a transportation fuel.