Monday, May 20, 2024

Metacon, Abwasserverband Kempten collaborate for green hydrogen production

Metacon has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with wastewater treatment plant Abwasserverband Kempten (AVKE), based in Kempten, Germany, regarding cooperation in the field of local, off-grid green hydrogen production from biogas using wastewater as a methane source.

A hydrogen center will be built on the site of AVKE, to which Metacon will supply a mid-size HHG hydrogen generator. After successful approval, this generator will go into operation in the summer of 2023 to produce non-fossil hydrogen from biogas.

Metacon also announced an increased strategic focus on the HHG product line and the opportunity to introduce grid-independent, local green hydrogen production from biogas all over Europe. Shortly after, Metacon announced the CE marking of the HHG 40, the first model in the HHG series. Metacon now takes the next important step in the company’s roll-out plan with a key partnership in place for a practical demonstration on the important German market.

Germany has the highest biogas production density in Europe, with over 10,000 biogas and wastewater treatment plants and an average plant capacity of over 100 Nm3 biomethane per hour. As a result, it also has the highest theoretical potential for the production of green hydrogen from domestic, electricity grid-independent, local and non-fossil sources.

Due to the significant market potential in the field of hydrogen production from biogas, as well as the current rapidly growing hydrogen demand of more than 1.6 million tons per year, Metacon decided to establish a local presence and target strategic partnerships in Germany already in 2021.

AVKE operates a mechanical-biological group treatment plant with fermentation towers for the production of biogas. Currently, biogas is used for the production of about 800 kW of electricity as well as for heat generation. In the future, part or all of the biogas could be used for the production of biomethane and green hydrogen.

Methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) up to one hundred times more climate warming than carbon dioxide, is converted to high-purity green hydrogen in the reforming process enabled by Metacon’s HHG systems. According to the company, the process as such is one of the most carbon-negative and climate-cooling technologies known. The residual and useful bi-product in terms of non-fossil green carbon dioxide produced in the process can be used as an industrial raw material. This further contributes to effective GHG reduction since it can replace fossil CO2 used in various existing production processes elsewhere.

The collaboration aims to establish a demonstration plant and “lighthouse project” in the field of grid-independent, local green hydrogen production. In this context, a hydrogen center will be built on the site of AVKE. From the locally produced biogas, the HHG system designated for the project produces about 110 kg of pure hydrogen per day from the locally produced biogas, about 1/5 of the fully scaled-up HHG capacity of over 500 kg/day in development.

The limited electricity required for system functions such as pumps and control software is provided directly on-site as green electricity is generated from the biogas. Preparations for the upcoming approval procedure are currently underway, and the project is planned to be ready for demonstration by summer 2023.