blast furnace dillinger

MemKoWI – Membrane processes for the separation of carbon dioxide and hydrogen from industrial gases

Subproject: Hydrogen separation from process gases in the iron and steel industry

Initial situation

  • Process gases or combustion gases from the steel industry, for example, contain many gas components such as H2 or CO2, which should be utilized from an environmental, energy and economic point of view.
  • Membrane technology is characterized by modularity and therefore easy adaptability to a wide range of feed gas quantities. This applies especially to its flexibility regarding dynamic operation.
  • In the context of the energy and raw materials transition, the gas components CO2 and H2 represent feedstocks to produce energy sources and industrial raw materials using Power-to-X processes.
  • Hydrogen is becoming increasingly important as a raw material in many industrial processes, as a reducing gas in the steel industry, as a flexible energy source, for CO2 activation or in the field of mobility.


Project work tasks

  • Implementation of gas permeation as an efficient process for the separation of H2 and CO2 from various process gases in selected industrial segments.
  • Design and construction of a new membrane pilot plant for one- and two-stage process of the targeted separation of hydrogen from process gases in the iron and steel industry.
  • Investigation of various H2-selective polymer and ceramic membranes with synthetic gases in the BFI pilot plant centre to determine the performance of the new membranes for hydrogen separation.
  • Operation of the new test plant with real process gases at the site of Dillinger Hütte. The aim is to determine the H2 yield and purity in industrial applications, the membrane stability in industrial use and the influence of operating pressures and temperatures on separation behaviour.
  • Development of a concept for implementing the new process in the existing gas network.


Intended results

  • Development of an industrially feasible process for the separation of H2 and CO2 from various process and waste gas streams using newly developed polymer membranes and innovative ceramic membranes.
  • Establishment of membrane technology as an option for the customised separation of CO2 and H2.
  • Supply and use of hydrogen for direct application in steel industry processes, e.g. for direct reduction or activation of CO2. This reduces CO2 emissions in the industrial production.
  • Creation of a process concept for the establishment of a cost-effective, industrially suitable technology for the supply of hydrogen or alternatively as a pre-treatment step in combination with other gas purification processes (e.g. gas scrubbing, PSA).



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