A byproduct of biodiesel production could soon yield another alternative fuel: hydrogen. The Linde Group will be building a demonstration plant later this year to turn glycerine into hydrogen. The plant, which will come on line in mid-2010, is being built on the same site as an existing facility in Leuna, Germany. The glycerine will be converted to a hydrogen-rich gas via a pyrolisis and reformation process. That gas will be fed into an existing hydrogen processing facility to be purified and liquified.
The liquid hydrogen will be used in Berlin and Hamburg where BMW Hydrogen 7s are being tested. Producing hydrogen from glycerine, in addition to the biodiesel, allows even more fuel to be produced from a given amount of land. The same processes could be used to generate hydrogen from other biogenic materials. Glycerine is an excellent feedstock for hydrogen production, because each molecule C3H5(OH)3 contains eight hydrogen atoms. BMW remains the only automaker working on hydrogen as a fuel to use it in liquid form. Every other automaker is using compressed gaseous hydrogen.

[Source: Linde Group]

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