Major gas company Linde has developed an innovative process to produce hydrogen fuel from biodiesel by-product glycerine. A demonstration plant is under construction in Germany.
Linde – the world’s largest manufacturer of hydrogen plants – has developed a process to produce hydrogen sustainably from biogenic materials. A demonstration plant will come on-stream in Leuna, Germany in mid-2010.
Leuna will reprocess, pyrolyse and reform raw glycerine – a by-product of biodiesel manufacture – to produce a hydrogen-rich gas. This will be fed into Linde’s Leuna II hydrogen plant for purification and liquefaction. The liquefied gas will be used for testing hydrogen-fuelled cars in Berlin and Hamburg.
Raw glycerine is particularly suited for hydrogen production as a result of its high hydrogen content. The potential benefit of biomass per hectare is exploited to an even greater extent by conversion of glycerine into hydrogen for fuel production. Biogenically-produced glycerine would not compete with food production and is available year round.
This method is an efficient way to process glycerine and augment European hydrogen stocks. It has the potential for replication and could be environmentally beneficial as producing hydrogen in this manner maximises the amount of fuel produced from a given amount of land.
‘The Linde Group develops sustainable hydrogen production process’ (company press release):
The EU is stimulating the development of a greener European car industry through a range of measures, such as the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) and the European Green Cars Initiative.
Fuel Cells and Hydrogen JTI: http://ec.europa.eu/research/fch/index_en.cfm
‘Hydrogen buses, clean power stations and greener laptops: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Technology Initiative launches a €140 million call for proposals for cutting-edge research’ (Commission press release): http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/1076&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN
European Green Cars Initiative: http://ec.europa.eu/research/industrial_technologies/lists/green-cars_en.html
Related information on EcoAP website: