Europe says goodbye to natural gas thanks to a hydrogen fuel cell – Le French Style by Céline

Europe says goodbye to natural gas thanks to a hydrogen fuel cell – Le French Style by Céline
Europe says goodbye to natural gas thanks to a hydrogen fuel cell – Le French Style by Céline

Despite a drop in demand for natural gas, Europe remains dependent on this resource as an alternative to coal. To replace these fossil fuels with pure hydrogen, you first need an efficient combustion system, capable of operating with any hydrogen concentration, including 100%.

Different countries are aiming for decarbonization through a gradual energy transition. In this quest, hydrogen offers many possibilities. Its production for energy purposes is in full global exploration, and investments to produce low-carbon hydrogen are increasing.

Forget the hydrogen engine: the future is this 700 times more powerful propellant

European superperturbin

In 2022, Spain led 20% of new global hydrogen projects. “For context, China’s current consumption is 20 million tonnes of hydrogen. This is the same quantity that Europe must produce by 2030 to replace Russian gas,” explains Africa Castro, head of business development at H2B2.

The FLEX4H2 initiative, funded by the European Union and the Swiss government, demonstrated in one year that this possibility exists. The Italian company Ansaldo Energia has developed the GT36 turbine, put into operation in Germany with a 100% hydrogen concentration. This Class H turbine, a sophisticated type of gas turbine, is designed to achieve extremely high efficiencies and operating temperatures.

With a power of more than 560 MW, the GT36 can power half a million homes. Its viability relies on the revolutionary combustion chamber design, using two complementary methods to achieve high temperatures while maintaining very low emissions and without the need for diluents.

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Flexibility and the future of energy

The turbine has also demonstrated its ability to switch from natural gas to green hydrogen, a beneficial flexibility for the energy transition. Until now, the Ansaldo turbine operated with a maximum of 40% hydrogen mixed with natural gas. With a budget of 8.7 million euros, the FLEX4H2 project still has three years to finalize this promising technology.

The main focus is the design and development of hydrogen combustion systems. “FLEX4H2 will develop and validate a safe, fuel-efficient and highly flexible combustion system capable of operating with any hydrogen concentration up to 100%, while meeting emission targets without the use of diluents,” they declare on their website.

This revolutionary combustion system will be validated with up to 100% hydrogen under full gas turbine operating conditions. Their prototype will be subjected to atmospheric and high pressure testing until reaching Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6.

With this initiative and financial support, Europe could soon say goodbye to natural gas. This superperturbin could become the savior of humanity by producing substitute energy, hydrogen. Wondering how far hydrogen can go? Don’t miss the latest news on this car with two hydrogen engines.



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