Marking a milestone for the German industrial gas firm, The Linde Group is to be the sole supplier of hydrogen for fuel-cell vehicles at this year’s Hannover Messe 2012 trade show.

According to Linde this marks another milestone for the firm in its journey to produce hydrogen from sustainable sources.

For the first time, we now have a certified source of green hydrogen to power zero-emissions fuel-cell cars throughout Germany.

Dr Andreas Opfermann, Head of Clean Energy and Innovation Management at Linde.

“Working with our research partners, we will be exploring other feedstocks and technologies to produce sustainable hydrogen on an even broader scale in future,” commented Dr Andreas Opfermann, Head of Clean Energy and Innovation Management at Linde.

The hydrogen generated from biodiesel by-products at the company’s pilot plant in Leuna, Germany, was certified by TÜV SÜD. At this year’s show, Linde will be the sole supplier of hydrogen for the fuel-cell vehicles organised by the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP).

At Hanover, Linde will be using its “traiLH2gas” mobile station to refuel fuel-cell cars provided by other CEP members, such as; GM/Opel, Volkswagen, Honda and Toyota with green hydrogen.

Looking beyond Hannover Messe, Linde will also supply certified green hydrogen to existing hydrogen refuelling stations in Berlin and Hamburg plus the 20 additional stations which Linde and Daimler plan to construct in Germany over the next three years.

The high hydrogen content of raw glycerine makes it an ideal feedstock. Recovered as a by-product from a biodiesel manufacturing process, it can be processed cost-effectively, is available all year round and does not compromise food supplies.

Once the raw glycerine has been distilled to remove water and salt, it is cracked under high pressure and at temperatures of several hundred degrees Celsius. The resulting methane-rich pyrolysis gas is then converted to hydrogen in a reformer, after which it is purified and liquefied if necessary.

For this early stage of the project, Linde engineers have successfully integrated the pyroreforming step into the existing process chain.

The full economic and ecological potential of this technology is to be explored in detail during the next step of this project, sponsored by the German National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).