CORDIS - EU research results

Advanced direct biogas fuel processor for robust and cost-effective decentralised hydrogen production

Project description

Cost-effective, decentralised production of hydrogen from biogas

Hydrogen (H2) production from low-carbon waste sources can help decarbonise the energy system sustainably. Biogas generated in landfills and by the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes, including wastewater-treatment sludge, is a promising feedstock. The EU-funded BIOROBURplus project plans to advance the technological readiness level of a direct biogas oxidative steam reformer developed in an earlier project for the sustainable, decentralised production of very pure H2 from biogas with no preliminary removal of CO2. The aim of the team is very high energy efficiency of biogas conversion into H2 with: technical innovation leading to increased internal heat recovery; both pressure and low temperature heat recovery; and use of process off-gas to provide the heat for the previous two.


BioROBURplus builds upon the closing FCH JU BioROBUR project (direct biogas oxidative steam reformer) to develop an entire pre-commercial fuel processor delivering 50 Nm3/h (i.e. 107 kg/d) of 99.9% hydrogen from different biogas types (landfill gas, anaerobic digestion of organic wastes, anaerobic digestion of wastewater-treatment sludges) in a cost-effective manner.
The energy efficiency of biogas conversion into H2 will exceed 80% on a HHV basis, due to the following main innovations:
1) increased internal heat recovery enabling minimisation of air feed to the reformer based on structured cellular ceramics
coated with stable and easily recyclable noble metal catalysts with enhanced coking resistance; 2) a tailored pressure-temperature-swing adsorption (PTSA) capable of exploiting both pressure and low T heat recovery from the processor to
drive H2 separation from CO2 and N2; 3) a recuperative burner based on cellular ceramics capable of exploiting the low
enthalpy PTSA-off-gas to provide the heat needed at points 1 and 2 above.
The complementary innovations already developed in BioROBUR (advanced modulating air-steam feed control system for coke growth control; catalytic trap hosting WGS functionality and allowing decomposition of incomplete reforming products; etc.) will allow to fully achieve the project objectives within the stringent budget and time constraints set by the call.
Prof. Debora Fino, the coordinator of the former BioROBUR project, will manage, in an industrially-oriented perspective, the work of 11 partners with complementary expertise: 3 universities (POLITO, KIT, SUPSI), 3 research centres (IRCE, CPERI, DBI), 3 SMEs (ENGICER, HST, MET) and 2 large companies (ACEA, JM) from 7 different European Countries.
A final test campaign is foreseen at TRL 6 to prove targets achievement, catching the unique opportunity offered by ACEA to
exploit three different biogas types and heat integration with an anaerobic digester generating the biogas itself.


Net EU contribution
€ 241 900,00
10129 Torino

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Nord-Ovest Piemonte Torino
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 241 900,00

Participants (11)