Munich, 23 April 2012 – The technology group The Linde Group has reached another milestone in its journey to produce hydrogen from sustainable sources. The hydrogen generated from biodiesel by-products at the company’s pilot plant in Leuna, Germany, was certified by TÜV SÜD, one of the world’s leading test, inspection and certification organisations, in time for the HANNOVER MESSE 2012 trade show. Opening today, HANNOVER MESSE is the world’s most important technology event. At this year’s show, Linde will be the sole supplier of hydrogen for the fuel-cell vehicles organised by the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP).
The pilot facility has shown that the pyroreforming process developed by Linde on the basis of raw glycerine has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 50 percent compared with conventional hydrogen production processes using natural gas. Advancing the pilot facility to a commercial-scale, fully mature production plant would increase potential greenhouse gas savings to up to 80 percent.
"For the first time, we now have a certified source of green hydrogen to power zero-emissions fuel-cell cars throughout Germany," says Dr Andreas Opfermann, Head of Clean Energy and Innovation Management at Linde. "Working with our research partners, we will be exploring other feedstocks and technologies to produce sustainable hydrogen on an even broader scale in future."
At Hanover, Linde will be using its "traiLH2gas" mobile station to refuel fuel-cell cars provided by other CEP members GM/Opel, Volkswagen, Honda and Toyota with green hydrogen. The mobile refuelling unit will be located in the outdoor area to the east of Hall 27. Visitors to the show can take a zero-emissions test drive and find out exactly how this innovative refuelling solution works. Looking beyond HANNOVER MESSE, Linde will also supply certified green hydrogen to existing hydrogen refuelling stations in Berlin and Hamburg plus the 20 additional stations which Linde and Daimler plan to construct in Germany over the next three years.
The high hydrogen content of raw glycerine makes it an ideal feedstock. Recovered as a by-product from a biodiesel manufacturing process, it can be processed cost-effectively, is available all year round and does not compromise food supplies.
Once the raw glycerine has been distilled to remove water and salt, it is cracked under high pressure and at temperatures of several hundred degrees Celsius. The resulting methane-rich pyrolysis gas is then converted to hydrogen in a reformer, after which it is purified and liquefied if necessary.
For this early stage of the project, Linde engineers have successfully integrated the innovative pyroreforming step into the existing process chain. The full economic and ecological potential of this technology is to be explored in detail during the next step of this project, sponsored by the German National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).
As the world’s largest manufacturer of hydrogen plants, Linde covers the entire technology spectrum required to successfully use hydrogen as an energy carrier – from generation to refuelling. The company is also actively involved in the CEP and the H2Mobility initiative aimed at building a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure in Germany.
About The Linde Group
The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 50,500 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2011 financial year, it achieved sales of EUR 13.787 bn. The strategy of The Linde Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The Group is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.
For more information, see The Linde Group online at http://www.linde.com