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World Hydrogen Leader Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

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  • Apr 2, 2021
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Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have developed a technology for the energy-efficient and economic separation of hydrogen from natural gas.

...an ultrathin layer on porous, ceramic substrates where it acts as a membrane, separating natural gas and hydrogen from one another. There are various processes involved in membrane production, starting with custom polymer synthesis. Polymers are substances consisting of branched macromolecules. These are then applied to the porous substrate. When the polymer is heated up and starved of oxygen at the same time, it forms a layer of carbon on its surface. The pores in the carbon are less than a nanometer in diameter, and this makes them effective for gas separation. Physical and chemical processes can be employed to adapt the membrane’s separation behavior even further. Fraunhofer IKTS has been collaborating with Leipzig-based DBI Gas- und Umwelttechnik GmbH to develop tubular carbon membranes.

 

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Apr 2, 2021

"We can use hydrogen with this degree of purity for various applications: In steel production for example. In high-temperature furnaces, it replaces carbon in the process of reducing iron ore to iron, making an important contribution to cutting CO2 emissions."

Fraunhofer's process does not "replace" any carbon, and does nothing to "cut CO2 emissions".

It creates a mix of 10% hydrogen (from which carbon has been separated at a refinery and emitted into the air) together with 90% methane (aka, "natural gas"), then removes another 80% of the carbon at point-of-use and emits it into the air, then burns the remaining methane as-is, emitting the final 10% of carbon into the air.

Presto, change-o...distracted by Fraunhofer's expensive, complicated process, the carbon has disappeared before our very eyes!

Or that's what the company would like us to think, anyway.  "People who believe an electrical grid can be powered by wind turbines, solar panels, and batteries will believe anything!" is apparently the logic behind this elaborate strategy. And unfortunately, Fraunhofer is right.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Apr 2, 2021

Is there a certain % of hydrogen being mixed in at which point any appliances or end uses at the end of the pipeline need changes/upgrades? 

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