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Biomethane to renewable hydrogen, a first for Repsol

Thursday, 07 October 2021

Repsol announced earlier this week (4 Oct 2021) that it had produced renewable hydrogen using biomethane feedstock for the first time. The milestone took place at the petrochemical giant's Cartegena Industrial Complex in South East Spain.

The feedstock for the biomethane was municipal solid waste, with 10 tonnes of renewable hydrogen from 500 MWh of biomethane being produced. Repsol claimed this process avoided approximately 90 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission.

The replacement of conventional natural gas with biomethane is part of Repsol's commitment to decarbonising its industrial processes. The company has already committed to becoming a leader in renewable hydrogen in the Iberian Peninsula, with plans of installing just under 2 GW electrolyser capacity by 2030 for green hydrogen production.

The renewable hydrogen produced (green or biomethane-based) can be used to manufacture products which include transport fuels such as gasoline and kerosene jet fuel, thus decarbonising Repsol's industrial complexes and associated supply chains.

Repsol is also using these industrial trials as an example for developing the Spanish renewable Guarantees of Origin system; the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge recently released a draft royal decree for public comment which covers establishing a Guarantees of Origin system for the Iberian nation.

The hydrogen spectrum

While hydrogen is a colourless gas, there is an industry convention of using colour labels to designate how hydrogen is produced.

The following infographic shows some of the colour labels used for the different forms of hydrogen.

(note - three pages)

Despite the numerous labels, there does not appear to be a specific designation for hydrogen produced from biomethane. However, the treatment of such hydrogen would be expected to be similar to green hydrogen, with the lowest carbon footprints.

Greenfact previously reported on a UK initiative in June 2021, where biomethane from food waste would be used to produce renewable hydrogen so the concept in itself is not new. Repsol is in an ideal position to add value by creating high-value transport fuels from sustainable hydrogen.


Repsol press release

Euro Petrole