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Separation of hydrogen from gas mixtures with membranes

- Pilot project in Prenzlau as a practical test for future gas infrastructure


Dauerthal / Berlin (renewablepress) - Hydrogen is a crucial source of energy that in future will combine the electricity and gas infrastructures into one energy system. It can be generated using power-to-gas technologies and renewable electricity, added to the natural gas grid on a proportionate basis, transported and made available as needed for applications in mobility, industry and the heating market. For applications that do not tolerate a gas mixture, the hydrogen must be removed again. This applies in particular to industrial customers sensitive to gas quality. By signing the cooperation agreement to this end, six partners from the gas industry and research are now starting the project "Membrane separation for natural gas and hydrogen in Prenzlau .” DBI Gas- und Umwelttechnik GmbH (DBI), ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH (ONTRAS), the French transmission system operator GRTgaz S.A. (GRTgaz), Mitteldeutsche Netzgesellschaft Gas mbH (MITNETZ GAS), and DVGW Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V. (DVGW) and as an associated partner the renewable energy company ENERTRAG AG (ENERTRAG), jointly analyse how hydrogen can be separated from natural gas-hydrogen mixtures using different membranes. To this end, engineers are planning and constructing a pilot plant near Prenzlau (Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania, Germany) in the coming weeks. The local power-to-gas plant at ENERTRAG supplies green hydrogen generated from wind power. Up to 20 volume percent of this gas is added to the natural gas in the ONTRAS network via the existing feed-in facility.

In the pilot plant the partners test which membranes are best suited to recover the hydrogen, what quantities can be separated from the gas stream and the degree of purity achieved with this hydrogen. The answers to these questions are of crucial importance for the configuration of a future hydrogen economy: Can hydrogen and natural gas be transported as a mixture in future thanks to membrane technology and thus provide the quantities of gas required for pure hydrogen and methane applications? Or do separate hydrogen and mixed gas infrastructures have to be planned? This will be the first time that the plant will be subjected to a practical suitability test, which may set the course for a gas infrastructure planned for the future.

"As a transmission system operator, we are interested in whether membranes protect conventional gas applications from hydrogen and whether we can also cover pure hydrogen requirements with natural gas-hydrogen mixtures from our network by separating them," explains Ralph Bahke, ONTRAS Managing Director. “The gas molecules do not stop at the borders, which is why cross-border cooperation is the key to success.” Thus Sandrine Meunier, RICE Director (GRTgaz Research Center) stresses: “I am very pleased that RICE will be able to develop its relationship with ONTRAS within the scope of this partnership. It is important for the operators of gas grids to join forces in order to meet the many challenges of feeding hydrogen into gas infrastructures and thus prepare their common future.”

Frank Gröschl, Head of Technology and Innovation Management at the umbrella organisation DVGW, emphasises: “The existing gas infrastructure offers ideal conditions for accomodating, storing, transporting and distributing hydrogen. To this end, the DVGW is revising the existing codes of practise. There is further need for research in particular on some applications for end customers, who often require a certain gas quality. Membranes can be the solution for this by separating the hydrogen-natural gas mixture into the two components and thus provide hydrogen for specific customers and applications.” And ENERTRAG CEO Jörg Müller describes the potential of this practical test: “Until now, the technical regulations allowed us to feed only two percent hydrogen from our hybrid power plant into the gas grid. Membrane technology allows at least ten times this amount – this is a revolution for the storage of renewable energies.


ENERTRAG provides all services related to renewable energies. We efficiently combine electricity, heat and mobility in all areas of life. As an energy producer with an annual production of 1.45 million MWh in stock, 672 plants installed and a "PowerSystem" service network with 1,120 wind turbines monitored, we know from our own experience what is important for our customers. With over two decades of experience in Europe, our 630 employees combine all the skills required for successful operation and efficient maintenance, for planning that is responsive to public concerns, reliable construction of energy systems and networks, and even complete combined cycle power plants. We are always one step ahead – be it integrated energy, participation models or adequate night-time marking.


Download press photo:
https://www.iwrpressedienst.de/bild/enertrag/b7316_Enertrag-hybrid-power-plant-Prenzlau.jpg
Caption: The hybrid power plant ENERTRAG near Prenzlau (large building on the left) supplies hydrogen generated from wind power. The ONTRAS feed-in system (small building in the middle) mixes it in various proportions with the natural gas in the gas network. This mixed gas will then be removed in the immediate vicinity in the test facility and the hydrogen is separated off again.
© ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH


Dauerthal / Berlin, 13 May 2020


Publication and Reprint free of charge; please send a voucher copy to ENERTRAG Aktiengesellschaft, DVGW Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V. or ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH.



Attention editorial offices - For further questions please contact:

Media contacts:

ENERTRAG Aktiengesellschaft
Dr. Nadine Haase
Head of Corporate Communication / Press Officer
Tel.: +49 39854 6459-368
Mob.: +49 172 3920762
E-Mail: nadine.haase@enertrag.com

ENERTRAG Aktiengesellschaft
Gut Dauerthal
17291 Dauerthal

Internet: https://www.enertrag.com


DVGW Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V.
Lars Wagner, press spokesman
Tel: +49 (0)30 7847-3664
E-Mail: lars.wagner@dvgw.de

DVGW Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V.
Josef-Wirmer-Str. 1-3
53123 Bonn

Internet: https://www.dvgw.de


ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH
Anja Fuchs, Corporate Communication
Tel: +49 (0)341 27111-2122
E-Mail: anja.fuchs@ontras.com

ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH
Maximilianallee 4
04129 Leipzig

Internet: https://www.ontras.com




Press releases of the Renewable Energy Industry by Renewable Press
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