Germany Hosts World's Largest Dynamic Hydrogen Electrolysis PlantS. Himmelstein | November 26, 2017
The world’s largest dynamic hydrogen electrolysis plant based on proton exchange membrane technology has been inaugurated by H&R Ölwerke Schindler, a subsidiary of H&R GmbH & Co. KGaA (Salzbergen, Germany). The facility will produce several hundred tons of hydrogen annually, based on its 5 MW electric capacity electrolyzer from Siemens.
The produced hydrogen will be used as a resource in refinery processes. H&R currently uses hydrogen in its production processes to extract specialty products, such as paraffins, white oils and process oils that are then further refined into printing inks, car tires and other products.
"But actually, producing hydrogen from water and electricity is only the first step in our long-term plan," explained Niels H. Hansen, managing director of H&R KGaA. "Long-term, we want to further develop our existing plants and sites. Today, we mainly use fossil fuels as our raw materials; in the future, these will be supplemented — first from renewable sources, then long-term with synthesized products manufactured in CO2-neutral processes using sustainable energy."
The dynamic electrolysis plant can take advantage of sudden surges in electricity production, such as from wind turbines, to produce hydrogen. About two percent of potential electric power is currently wasted in Germany because the country occasionally produces more electricity than it consumes. As a result, solar facilities and wind turbines are shut down.
Hydrogen-generation plants can be used as buffer storage facilities to stabilize grids in periods of high alternative electricity generation as the hydrogen produced is exploited as feedstock for refining processes.