Hydrogen takes a new step as a for the energy transition thanks to H2SITE, which has launched the world’s first membrane manufacturing plant to obtain hydrogen from ammonia or methanol, and separate hydrogen from low-concentration gas blends.
The new facility will industrialize the production of membranes, the technological heart of H2SITE, used in the construction of hydrogen production reactors and separators. Similar membranes made of palladium alloys had been so far very costly, fragile, and difficult to manufacture and scale. H2SITE has managed to overcome these obstacles.
Located in Loiu (Biscay Region, Spain), the new H2SITE plant has a production capacity of tens of thousands of membranes per year. For its construction, H2SITE has invested more than 3 million euros, which it plans to double in the coming years to increase production capacity.
“Once the first production line has been validated, our objective is to significantly increase the capacity of the plant, vertically integrate the manufacturing process of the membrane and build new plants to tackle new markets,” according to Andrés Galnares, CEO of H2SITE. “Our objective is to significantly increase the number of membranes produced each year for the next 3 years, which entails continuing to invest in production assets similar to those we have already installed and increasing their level of automation to further reduce our costs.”
In 2022, H2SITE has booked orders of more than 5 million euros. Galnares assures that the goal is to double that figure over the next year, reaching a workforce of more than 50 professionals.
Asier Rufino, CEO of TECNALIA Ventures and President of H2SITE, states that “at TECNALIA we have been working for 20 years on the development and scaling up of hydrogen technologies its entire value chain: production, distribution, transport, storage and end uses. Together with the Technical University of Eindhoven (TU/e), the technology H2SITE leverages on was created. Today, H2SITE has scaled the process, has industrialized it, and is managing to reduce its cost to be able to develop new use cases”.
“This plant reflects the success of more than 10 years of collaboration initiated by TECNALIA and TU/e and supported by the Public Administration. H2SITE brings it to a new level with the industrialization of a disruptive process thanks to the help of investors who believe that technology is a critical enabler for the energy transition, such as ENGIE New Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, EQUINOR Ventures and institutional investors from the Basque Country Capital Riesgo País Vasco and Seed Capital Bizkaia. Along with the team that we have created, we cannot wish for better partners at this time,” says Galnares.
The membrane separators and reactors will help provide hydrogen with high purity and limited cost, with focus on hard to abate industry sectors and heavy land and maritime mobility.