Hydrogen from landfill gas

New H2 research reactor at Entsorgungszentrum Leppe, © RGH2
New H2 research reactor at Entsorgungszentrum Leppe, © RGH2

Bioenergy is not talked about as much as solar and wind energy in the context of H2 production, but biogas, for example, is perfectly suitable for the production of green hydrogen. To bring some more light into the bioenergy darkness, the waste management association of Nordrhein-Westfalen (Bergische Abfallwirtschaftsverband, BAV) and the Austrian energy startup Rouge H2 Engineering (RGH2) put a research reactor at the Leppe dump site in operation in February 2022. There, in a test operation lasting several months, a decentralized production of high-purity hydrogen from landfill gas is to be tried and further developed.

At this landfill located in Lindlar-Remshagen, likewise to other dump sites, landfill gases with average methane content of 45 vol% develop. These gases, which issue from organic waste as a result of anaerobic decomposition processes, are collected and converted into electrical energy in a combined heat and power unit. BAV and RGH2 now want to investigate what effects the waste composition has on hydrogen production.

In addition, the :metabolon Institut, the waste recovery research facility of technical university TH Köln, is checking whether the RGH2 reactor is suitable for connection to the pyrolysis unit at its thermochemical research center. After a successful test operation, the project partners are aiming at a large-scale demonstration plant for the conversion of landfill gas to hydrogen.

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