Total plans hydrogen technology partnership with Sunfire
Total has signed a cooperation agreement with Sunfire, under which the German cleantech company will provide a megawatt-scale high temperature electrolyser for use in industrial environments as part of the E-CO2MET R&D project being run at Total’s refinery at Leuna, Germany. The company will also be responsible for the integration at the site as well as the operation and maintenance of the electrolyser, which will be the first step for the industrial-scale production of synthetic methanol from renewables and industrial concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) at the Leuna facility.
The production of green methanol and hydrogen from renewable energies offers great opportunities for the global energy and transport transition. ‘Total is delighted to develop efficient technologies to re-use CO2 to [manufacture] chemicals, materials and fuels. Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) is going to play an essential role in achieving carbon neutrality without curbing economic and social growth,’ says Marie-Noelle Semeria, Senior Vice President, Group Chief Technology Officer at Total.
The high-temperature electrolyser is able to directly use economically produced steam or waste heat from industrial and synthesis processes, reducing electricity use, explain the companies. Claimed to be the most efficient technology on the market for converting electricity into hydrogen, the high efficiency of over 80% also significantly reduces the overall cost of the integrated process.
‘This technology can become the core building block for energy sectors that cannot source electricity directly from renewables. With the transformation into renewable gases and fuels and the use of existing infrastructures, we can make the transport sector and the chemical industry climate-neutral,’ comments Nils Aldag, Managing Director of Sunfire.
For more on hydrogen initiatives, see Petroleum Review’s September 2019 issue.
Total refinery at Leuna, Germany