Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Conversion of biogas (anaerobic digester- or landfill gas) to hydrogen is an energy efficient and low cost pathway for production of renewable hydrogen. The current available catalysts and reactor systems degrade rapidly in time due to carbon formation on the catalyst, reactor and heat exchanger walls due to the high carbon content of biogas.

The state of the art conversion of biogas therefore consists of first cleaning the biogas from impurities like sulphur, siloxanes and subsequent upgrading the biogas by removing the CO2. The resulting methane-rich feed is reformed by state of the art SMR. The upgrading step results in high capital and operational costs and lowers the efficiency of the process.

The challenge is to remove the upgrading step and convert clean biogas (still containing CO2) directly into hydrogen.

Scope:  The scope of work comprises the development and testing of catalysts and reactor designs in order to obtain a continuous and stable process for hydrogen production through direct reforming of clean biogas. It includes a proof of concept of an optimized system with adequate control strategies. The final target should be to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of the total process.

The project should focus on:

•             Conception of low cost and energy efficient systems to produce renewable hydrogen from biogas. Assessment of performance in terms of CO2 footprint and cost per produced amount of H2

•             Increasing High Heating Value (HHV) efficiency up to 72% (clean biogas to hydrogen)

•             Eliminate the upgrading steps of the feedstock by developing catalytic and reactor systems that are more stable in time due to a lower susceptibility to degradation by carbonaceous material fouling or poisoning by impurities

•             Design, build and operate a reactor for the continuous production of hydrogen at a pre-commercial scale (between 50 and 250 kg/day), displaying an improvement with respect to the current state of the art

•             Adjust Balance of Plant components and burner unit to safely operate with lower caloric value gas streams

Biogas cleaning (removal of impurities like sulphur, siloxanes, ammonia) is not within the scope of the topic.

Projects should build upon knowledge and experience from relevant previously funded FCHJU projects.

Expected impact:

•             Fuel cell technology for reforming of CO2-containing biogas should be demonstrated in relevant environment

•             Improved efficiency of reforming anaerobic fermentation or landfill gas up to 72%

•             Reduced cost of reforming biogas

Record Number: 665387 / Last updated on: 2015-03-25