Hydrogen is seen as a great promise for Dutch industry, but is that true?
The fact is that developments in the hydrogen field make the news almost every day and that a great future is set for it. In the climate agreement, hydrogen is frequently mentioned as a possible route to serve as a substitute for natural gas. The current natural gas network in the Netherlands is relatively easy to make suitable for the transport of hydrogen, studies have shown, and the addition of natural gas to the current infrastructure also results in virtually no problems or increased safety risk.
What is hydrogen?
Hydrogen is created by splitting water (H2O) into its two components, hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). This process, called electrolysis, requires energy in the form of electricity. If that stream is of green origin, you also call the green hydrogen. If the electricity is generated with fossil fuels, then you speak of gray hydrogen, as CO2 is still released.
Hydrogen as an energy carrier
Also promising is the use of hydrogen to temporarily store a surplus of sustainably generated energy. The amount of installed solar panels and wind turbines has been growing strongly in recent years, due to various stimulation programs and a lower cost of equipment, in particular. If the sun shines or there is a strong wind, more energy can be generated than is actually necessary at that time, you simply cannot match the generation to demand and so this energy is lost. You could store that energy in hydrogen, so that you can use that accumulated buffer when the need is there.
Because we see that developments in the Netherlands in particular are at odds with developments in the rest of the world, after all we all have to get rid of gas, where the rest of the world is actually switching from oil to gas-fired combustion plants. We have investigated the possibilities for a hydrogen heating installation and have used our own development in this.
Our development in the field of hydrogen
We think that the opportunities for applying hydrogen in particular lie in industrial combustion plants, for heating households there is already a trend towards electric heating and heating with heat pumps and this trend is likely to continue for a while. For us the reason to focus on installations with 100 kW or more installed capacity. Together with a manufacturer of hydrogen cells, we have developed a demand-driven hydrogen generation in combination with a hydrogen-compatible gas burner and mounted this on a conventional hot water boiler. We have taken a Bentone gas burner for the gas burner, with a maximum capacity of 150 kW and adjusted it so that it can burn on natural gas, hydrogen and a combination of both types of gas.
The test set-up consists of a demand-driven hydrogen generator unit, gas control unit, Bentone hydrogen burner and Osby Parca hot water boiler. Extensive practical tests and validations have been carried out on the basis of this test setup. A lot of time has gone into developing a safe and reliable burner, the safety components now have a certification for the use of hydrogen gas. The endurance tests on a hydrogen / natural gas gas mixture show a reliable company, with a substantial reduction of emissions, CO2 is reduced by two-thirds and the emission of NOx (Nitrogen) is almost zero.
Our hydrogen burner concept can be applied wherever high process temperatures are desired and on installations from 80 kW burner capacity. Consider simply making existing office or apartment complexes more sustainable (to meet government objectives in this area), making industrial processes more sustainable and reducing CO2 and nitrogen emissions in industry and the built environment.
Whether hydrogen will play a significant role in the current energy transition is almost certain, in what form and at what pace is still uncertain. We are at least ready for it …
Who are we?
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