CNH2 participates in the innovative MACBETH project funded by the European Union(H2020) with approximately 16.6 M€

More than 24 partners, MACBETH project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy and resource efficiency in high-volume industrial processes.

The project started in November 2019. The kick-off meeting was celebrated in Nuremberg, Germany, on 20 – 22 November. The newly founded project consortium consists of 24 partners from  10 different countries and is coordinated by Evonik Performance Materials GmbH (EPM). The partners are Evonik Technology & Infrastructure Gmbh, Liqtech International A/S, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitaet Erlangen Nuernberg, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet, Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Zentrum Fur Material- Und Kustenforschung Gmbh, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation, I.C.I Caldaie Spa, Politecnico di Milano, Rauschert Kloster Veilsdorf Gmbh, Engie, Kt – Kinetics Technology Spa, Universita Degli Studi Di Salerno, Ciaotech Srl, Enzymicals Ag, Chiralvision Bv, Vlaamse Instelling Voor Technologisch Onderzoek N.V., Johnson Matthey Plc and CNH2.

The MACBETH consortium provides a breakthrough technology for advanced downstream processing by combining catalytic synthesis with the corresponding separation units in a single highly efficient catalytic membrane reactor (CMR). This disruptive technology has the ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of large volume industrial processes by up to 35 %. Additionally, resource and energy efficiency will be increased by up to 70%. The revolutionary new reactor design will not only guarantee substantially smaller and safer production plants but also has a tremendous competitive advantage since CAPEX is decreased by up to 50% and OPEX by up to 80%.

To improve the production of pure hydrogen from biogas or natural gas MACBETH will develop, build and demonstrate a novel reactor concept integrating hydrogen separation in situ during the reforming reaction in a single vessel under industrially relevant conditions. Here, biogas or natural gas methane will be converted to hydrogen at a much lower temperature compared with a conventional system resulting in an increase of the overall process efficiency and a strong decrease of volumes and auxiliary heat management units. The novel membrane reactor system will greatly simplify plant layouts resulting in a decrease of CAPEX (much less components/reactors) and OPEX (raising efficiency from 59% to more than 70% (for biogas)). Compared with any other membrane reactor project in the past (most advanced TRL 6), MACBETH will demonstrate:

  • the membrane reactor will run at a much larger scale (>150 membranes implemented in a single fluidized bed membrane reactor)
  • small-scale hydrogen production, very close to a commercial unit, paving the way towards a market exploitation of the reactor concept
  • the reactor system will operate for more than 8000 h (for each of the H2 demo plants).

Equipped with an integrated advanced control system which improves the systems flexibility towards biogas composition, the reactor will be tested in a real biogas plant (H2a) at ENGIE and in a  TUE’s plant for natural gas (NG) in the CNH2 facilities located in Puertollano (Spain).

Hydrogen is an alternative fuel that can replace fossil fuels, such as petrol or diesel. Hydrogen can be produced using renewable electricity and can be seen as a necessary medium-to-long-term alternative that can help to achieve a sustainable, carbon-free economy. Whereas the use of fossil fuels generates carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to climate change, as well as a number of other pollutants that have a severe impact on human health (NOx or particulates), the use of hydrogen in combination with fuel cells produces only water vapour and has no impact on the environment.

MACBETH project, which continues the work of other European Union projects such as ROMEO and BIONICO, will involve a total investment of €20.7 million where the European Union, through the H2020 programme, funds €16.6 million.