German Bilfinger develops solution for hydrogen storage


Germany – Bilfinger is working on a demonstration plant for drying green hydrogen.

The state of Lower Saxony is funding a collaboration between the Institute for Thermodynamics at Leibniz Universität Hannover and EWE GASSPEICHER GmbH in Oldenburg that is a crucial component of the energy transition. The method makes it possible to efficiently and extensively treat hydrogen for storage and subsequent needs-based feed-in to the grid. Early in 2023, the system will be delivered to Rüdersdorf in Brandenburg.

Through the use of an appropriate scrubbing liquid and moisture absorption, the new process dries hydrogen. Bilfinger is utilizing a process that has been consistently praised for its dependability and efficiency for decades and is already being used on a large scale for natural gas in gas storage.

Hydrogen treatment

Green electricity, or power generated from renewable sources like the sun and wind, must be stored, which is a difficult task. A significant storage medium is hydrogen. Hydrogen is created when electricity is converted into it, and like natural gas, this hydrogen should be introduced into underground caverns where it can be safely and permanently stored. As part of a research project, EWE GASSPEICHER is currently developing this proof in Rüdersdorf, Brandenburg. Before it can be fed into the grid and transported further, the hydrogen must first be dried. The technology employed by Bilfinger enables the cost-effective and effective large-scale treatment of hydrogen. The hydrogen is dried after withdrawal, say from a cavern, and either immediately turned back into electricity or supplied to the transportation system. Thus, consumers can receive energy in a manner similar to how natural gas is supplied.

Leibniz Universität Hannover’s Institute for Thermodynamics, which is supporting the project scientifically, and EWE GASSPEICHER GmbH, whose storage facility hydrogen drying will initially be used and tested, are both additional network partners. After completing the testing phase, the plant will be put into use to produce hydrogen in 2023–2024, allowing for the drying of the gas before it is fed into the network.