Shell and ITM Power plan for bulk hydrogen production through electrolysis


Shell and ITM Power have revealed plans to install a large scale electrolyser to produce hydrogen (H2) at the Wesseling refinery site within the Rheinland Refinery Complex.

With a capacity of 10 megawatts (MW) , this would be the largest unit of its kind in Germany and the world’s largest Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) electrolyser. This electrolyser technology is also suitable to improve the stability of the electricity grid with a growing share of intermittent renewable energy sources, such as from solar and wind.

Shell through Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH and Shell Energy Europe Ltd with consortium partners ITM Power PLC, SINTEF, thinkstep and Element Energy have been invited to the preparation of a grant agreement by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU), following a competitive call for proposals.

Today, the refinery uses approximately 180,000 tonnes of H2 per year in their various plants. The H2 is currently produced as a byproduct of the refining process or through natural gas reforming, while electrolysis uses electricity to split water into the base components of H2 and oxygen.

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