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    Wintershall Researches Producing Hydrogen from Gas


The German company is working with an institute to research methane pyrolysis.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Wintershall Researches Producing Hydrogen from Gas

Germany’s Wintershall Dea is set to cooperate with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) on researching the environmentally friendly production of hydrogen from natural gas.

There are several options for producing hydrogen, pitched by some as the clean energy source of the future. One method is methane pyrolysis, where methane in gas is separated into hydrogen and solid carbon. The joint project agreed between Wintershall Dea and KIT will initially run for three years and is aimed to laying the foundations for the future industrial use of this technique.

“The perspectives we’re creating as part of our co-operation with KIT show that natural gas is fit for the future”, Hugo Dijkgraaf, Wintershall’s chief technology officer, commented. “Natural gas is already the cleanest conventional source of energy. Yet it can become even more climate-friendly moving ahead if we separate off the hydrogen and the carbon contained in it.”

KIT has already undertaken basic research on methane pyrolysis using liquid metal technology, in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam.

“There are huge quantities of natural gas worldwide and it can be used in a climate-neutral way,” Thomas Wetzel, professor of process engineering at KIT, explained. “Our joint project aims to investigate how we can achieve that in a technically efficient manner and use the results later for processing large quantities of gas.”