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On the upwind with “green” hydrogen


ReiCat GmbH, one of the leading companies for gas treatment plants, is on course for expansion. Today, the largest growth market is plants for the purification of "green" hydrogen, which is to be produced on an increasing scale by electrolysis of water with electricity from photovoltaic and wind power. "Green" hydrogen leaves the electrolyzer with impurities, mainly oxygen and moisture. However, a gas of high purity (>= 99.999%) is required for transport, storage, and most usage applications.

Up to now, hydrogen has been used practically only in industry. In the energy sector, it will be needed in much larger quantities in the future as a storable energy carrier.

"We've been experiencing a flood of orders since last summer, and we're bracing ourselves for it to continue," shared Michael Höfling, owner and CEO of ReiCat, based in Gelnhausen, Hesse, on the occasion of the delivery of a hydrogen purification system (see photo).

The customer for the plant is the Danish company European Energy A/S for a "power-to-X" plant being built at Vindtestcenter Måde k/s, Esbjerg, in southern Denmark. This electrolysis plant will use electricity from wind power to produce "green" hydrogen and - after purification - deliver it to a world-leading chemical company. A high purity of hydrogen of >=99.999% is required and, due to ReiCat's innovative technologies, is achieved with minimal energy input. The hydrogen purification plant is designed for a throughput of 3,000 standard cubic meters of hydrogen per hour, and the connected load of the electrolysis plant is approximately 15 megawatts. European Energy has already ordered a second hydrogen purification plant from ReiCat, the throughput of which will be three and a half times that amount. European Energy is a pioneer company as a project developer and operator of wind power, photovoltaic, and power-to-X plants.


ReiCat has decades of experience in hydrogen purification. More than 50 plants have been delivered to customers at home and abroad so far. However, the step from a niche product to one of the most important fields of work should not be at the expense of the traditional business fields of purification and recycling of technical gases of all kinds as well as exhaust air purification, says Höfling. Here, too, he says, he is registering growing demand.

A new growth area is the purification of CO2, which is captured during combustion processes for the purpose of climate protection and is to be reused or disposed of. In addition, demand is rising for recycling plants that recover up to 98% of expensive technical gases such as hydrogen, argon, and helium used in production processes. This not only has a positive effect on the CO2 footprint of the manufacturing company but also leads to enormous cost savings. For the current year, the medium-sized company ReiCat expects a sales increase of around 80 % compared to the past fiscal year.

In the heterogeneous gas purification market, every order to date has been an individual project tailored to the customer's needs. This requires a high level of planning and processing effort and a relatively long lead time. Until now, this has also applied to the hydrogen purification segment. In the course of the development of the hydrogen economy, a radical change in market requirements is currently taking place. The emerging flood of orders can only be managed through the transition to standardization, modularization, and batch production. ReiCat has started to build up a modular system for hydrogen purification plants and is aligning with its component suppliers to adjust to the new situation. The company also wants to increase manufacturing capacity. The advantages are lower manufacturing costs, reduced engineering hours for planning, design, and execution, and shortened lead times.


Contact ReiCat GmbH
Sophia Höfling
+49 177 3865382

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