Siqens GmbH has developed an alternative method for hydrogen production: Electrochemical Hydrogen Separation (EHS) technology. In this process, molecularly bound hydrogen is separated and separated from mixed gases.
Munich-based Siqens says it has developed a new, more economical process for H₂ recovery. Together with a reformer connected in front of it, the EHS technology can separate and separate the molecularly bound hydrogen from various mixed gases, according to the manufacturer. This enables local H₂ generation in fuel cell quality, he said.
For example, the technology could produce hydrogen by separating it from natural gas after transporting it over the existing gas infrastructure. But other gases can also be used. Biogas, methanol or methane can also be used.
In principle, it is even possible to produce hydrogen from waste streams such as biomass and non-biogenic municipal and industrial waste.
A low-cost and effective H2 production
According to Siqens CEO Dr. Thomas Klaue, the EHS is the answer to the challenges of a low-cost hydrogen infrastructure and, moreover, the development of untapped H₂ resources.
He said the process still allows hydrogen to be extracted from natural reservoirs. Depending on the volume of H₂ concentration in the gas, the energy required to produce 1 kg of hydrogen using EHS technology would be only 3-5 kWh, or about one-tenth of the energy content of hydrogen. With this method, the energy requirement is reduced by around 90 % per kg of hydrogen compared with electrolysis.
Only about 5% green hydrogen
There are various processes for generating hydrogen. However, the majority of the processes involve the production of gray hydrogen. As of 2020, only about 5% of the hydrogen consumed annually was green, according to the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
The most widely used process to date for hydrogen production from carbon-based energy sources is steam methane reforming (SMR). Currently, about 98% of gray hydrogen is produced in this way.