How can pure hydrogen be produced in a climate-neutral process, independent of solar radiation or wind strength, and then utilized to operate fuel cells or for application in the semiconductor industry?
This is the question being addressed by a current research project involving the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT, and Veolia Umweltservice Süd GmbH & Co. KG. Their plan is to use organic waste as a starting material for alternative hydrogen production.
More specifically, a two-part process is to be developed within the project in order to extract ultrapure hydrogen from accruing biogenic substitute fuels such as sewage sludge. In a first step, a hydrogen-rich synthesis gas is to be thereby generated from the biogenic residues with the aid of a thermo-chemical conversion process. The plan is to then separate the ultrapure hydrogen by means of metal-coated membranes. Advantages for the waste-management company include higher-quality material disposal and holistic internal disposal within the company.
The process of decentralized production of ultrapure hydrogen furthermore provides an important additional building block for the national hydrogen strategy, according to which Germany as an industrial location is to be restructured in a climate-friendly manner with the help of hydrogen. Through its utilization, the quantity of domestically produced green hydrogen can be significantly increased. Simultaneously, risks relating to dependencies, a lack of supply security or an increased reversion to fossil energy sources will be reduced.