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North German real laboratory Bützberg PtG

The market for hydrogen applications is rapidly gaining momentum. Driven by increasingly ambitious climate goals and necessity, a multitude of projects are currently pushing their way into implementation. These are promoting European hydrogen and thus giving the European hydrogen economy a considerable boost.

The North German real laboratory Bützberg PtG, which we are currently implementing for our customer Stadtreinigung Hamburg (SRH), is an outstanding example of our innovative strength. SRH operates a biogas and composting plant for biowaste from private households as well as garden and park waste at its site in Bützberg near Hamburg. As part of the plant, a biogas upgrading plant is also installed with subsequent feeding of the biomethane produced into the public gas grid. The aim of the pilot project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), is to demonstrate the synergy effects between electrolytic hydrogen production and anaerobic biowaste treatment through in-situ methanisation of the fermentation CO2. In this process, hydrogen is used in a specific phase of the fermentation to increase the methane content of the biogas and thus the overall efficiency of the plant through biological methanisation of the CO2.

Due to our decades of experience in handling hydrogen and biogenic gases, we were able to convince Stadtreinigung Hamburg and secure the contract for the realisation of the planned electrolysis system. Our group of companies scored particularly well with its broad portfolio of services - because FRIEDRICH VORWERK offers all services from a single source, from the delivery of the ready-to-operate PEM electrolyser including all ancillary systems (drinking water treatment, gas purification and drying, etc.), to the construction of the connected hydrogen storage tank, to the associated instrumentation and control technology and the hydrogen-side connection lines. After the turnkey handover of the plant and the successful trial operation, a service and maintenance contract also begins for the duration of the research project.

Commissioning of the plant is planned for the fourth quarter of 2024. Engineering and planning services are therefore already in full swing, and the groundbreaking ceremony on the site is expected in summer 2024. Should the piloting of the novel process be successful, this would be an important milestone for the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy and a further reference for FRIEDRICH VORWERK's high innovative strength.

The project is part of the North German Living Lab (NRL). The NRL is an innovative joint project that shows new ways to achieve climate neutrality. To this end, areas of production and life with particularly high energy consumption are gradually being defossilized - especially in industry, but also in the heat supply and mobility sectors. The project, which was launched in April 2021, is backed by a growing energy transition alliance with more than 50 partners from business, science and politics. The large-scale project will run for five years (04/2021-03/2026). The investment volume of the partners involved amounts to over 405 million euros. The NRL is part of the funding initiative "Reallabore der Energiewende" and is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) with around 55 million euros. Further funding is provided by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport Affairs (BMDV). The NRL sees itself as an expandable platform, also for other projects.

(September 2023)