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Spain: Repsol Produces Renewable Hydrogen from Biomethane for the First Time

By October 4, 2021 4   min read  (701 words)

October 4, 2021 |

Fuel Cells Works, Repsol to Start up the First electrolyzer for Hydrogen Production at its Petronor refinery in Basque-Country, Spain

Repsol has produced renewable hydrogen for the first time using biomethane as a raw material. This renewable hydrogen has been used to make low carbon footprint fuels such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene for aviation. 

This milestone has taken place at the Repsol refinery in Cartagena, where 10 tons of renewable hydrogen have been produced from 500 MWh of biomethane, which has prevented the emission into the atmosphere of about 90 tons of CO 2 .

Highlights

  • Renewable hydrogen has been used to make fuels with a low carbon footprint, such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene for aviation, which has prevented the emission of about 90 tons of CO 2 into the atmosphere .
  • The biomethane used as raw material has been obtained from municipal solid waste. In this way, Repsol continues to promote the circular economy and state-of-the-art technologies to transform waste into products with high added value and a low carbon footprint.
  • The production of renewable hydrogen in this way is further evidence of the transformation of Repsol’s industrial complexes into multi-energy poles capable of manufacturing decarbonised products and of the company’s commitment to reach zero net emissions by 2050.
  • Energy efficiency, the circular economy and the production of renewable hydrogen, together with technologies for capturing and using CO , are the four main pillars on which Repsol relies to place its refineries at the forefront of the energy transition.

In this way, Repsol takes a first step to replace conventional natural gas with biomethane of sustainable origin to produce renewable hydrogen in its industrial complexes and thus decarbonise both its processes and its products.

The biomethane used as raw material has been obtained from municipal solid waste. In this way, Repsol continues to promote the circular economy and state-of-the-art technologies to transform waste into products with high added value and a low carbon footprint.

This first industrial test carried out by Repsol will also serve as an example for the development of the system of guarantees of origin for renewable gases that will be implemented in Spain and that the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has just released to public information as a draft of Royal Decree.

The evolution of industrial complexes

Repsol is transforming its industrial centers into multi-energy hubs capable of converting waste and other raw materials of renewable origin into products with a low, zero or even negative carbon footprint. To achieve this, it uses energy efficiency, circular economy tools, renewable hydrogen and CO 2 capture and use technologies .

The company has had a circular economy strategy since 2018 that is materialized in more than 230 initiatives and the ambition to use four million tons of waste annually by 2030 as raw material for its products. In October 2020, it announced the construction of the first advanced biofuels plant in Spain, which will start up in 2023. It will also be located in Cartagena and will have a capacity of 250,000 tons per year of biofuels produced from waste and valid for cars. trucks and planes. In the port of Bilbao, near the Petronor refinery, Repsol plans to build a plant to generate biogas also from  urban waste.

Regarding renewable hydrogen, Repsol has already announced its intention to lead the market in the Iberian Peninsula through the installation of a capacity of 552 MW in 2025 and 1.9 GW in 2030. Currently, Repsol is the leading producer and the The leading hydrogen consumer in Spain and uses this gas regularly as a raw material in its industrial processes.

The company is already implementing a multitude of projects throughout the renewable hydrogen value chain and is promoting the creation of large regional consortia to promote large industrial projects, such as the Basque Hydrogen Corridor, the Hydrogen Valley of Catalonia, the Hydrogen cluster in Castilla-La Mancha and the Renewable Hydrogen Pole around the Escombreras Valley, in Cartagena.

On September 20, Repsol announced that in 2022 it will start up its first electrolyzer, with a capacity of 2.5 MW, at Petronor. In 2024, a 10 MW electrolyzer is scheduled to come into operation, also in the vicinity of Petronor, which will serve the synthetic fuel plant that the company will build together with Saudi Aramco. In addition, Repsol plans to build other electrolysers in Petronor and Cartagena with a capacity of 100 MW each to serve its industrial complexes.

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