Innovative hydrogen upgrading powered by membranes


Besides gasification hydrogen from renewable resources can be also produced via biotechnological pathways. During dark fermentation a raw gas at low temperature and low pressure is produced. Besides hydrogen the main components of the raw gas are carbon dioxide (approximately 35 vol%).

Aims and goals

Goal of the project is the development of an innovative process to upgrade hydrogen rich gas using membrane technology. The process should be used flexibly and cost-effectively in small scale.


Based on membrane data from literature, membrane screening in the laboratory as well as process simulation design and parameters of the separation process are deifined to be used to set-up a pilot plant.

The separation behaviour of the pilot plant is tested connected to a real hydrogen fermentation reactor to obtain detailed information on process data and gas qualities. Changing the conditions in the hydrogen fermentation reactor it is possible to define the boundaries to guarantee a stable product gas flow rate and a stable gas quality. The obtained results together with an extensive balancing are used to define scenarios of hydrogen application based on different hydrogen qualities as well as to estimate investment and operational costs of gas-upgrading.

At the end of the project it is expected to obtain a robust and economic gas-upgrading technology to be applied for the separation of hydrogen and carbon dioxide during fermentative hydrogen production under moderate process condition, maintaining the feed pressure of product hydrogen. The process should enable a simple and stable operation under changing gas flow rates and gas compositions.

This project is supported by the Climate and Energy Fund and is performed under the program "NEUE ENERGIEN 2020".

Go to top