Repsol has produced renewable hydrogen for the first time using biomethane as a feedstock.

This renewable hydrogen has been used to manufacture low carbon footprint fuels such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene for aviation.

This milestone has taken place at the Repsol refinery in Cartagena, where 10 tons of renewable hydrogen have been produced from 500 MWh of biomethane, which has avoided the emission into the atmosphere of about 90 tons of CO2.

In this way, Repsol takes a first step to replace conventional natural gas with biomethane of sustainable origin to produce renewable hydrogen in its industrial complexes and thus decarbonize both its processes and its products.

The biomethane used as a raw material has been obtained from municipal solid waste. In this way, Repsol continues to promote the circular economy and state-of-the-art technologies to transform waste into products with high added value and a low carbon footprint.

This first industrial test carried out by Repsol will also serve as an example for the development of the system of guarantees of origin for renewable gases to be implemented in Spain, which the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge has just released for public information as a draft Royal Decree.

Repsol is transforming its industrial centers into multi-energy centers capable of converting waste and other renewable raw materials into products with a low, zero or even negative carbon footprint. To achieve this, it uses energy efficiency, circular economy tools, renewable hydrogen and CO2 capture and use technologies.

The company has had a circular economy strategy in place since 2018 that takes the form of more than 230 initiatives and the ambition to use four million tons of waste annually by 2030 as raw material for its products. In October 2020, it announced the construction of Spain’s first advanced biofuels plant, which will be commissioned in 2023. It will also be located in Cartagena and will have a capacity of 250,000 tons per year of biofuels produced from waste and valid for cars, trucks and airplanes. In the port of Bilbao, in the vicinity of the Petronor refinery, Repsol plans to build a plant to generate biogas also from urban waste.

As for renewable hydrogen, Repsol has already announced its intention to lead the market in the Iberian Peninsula through the installation of a capacity of 552 MW in 2025 and 1.9 GW in 2030. Repsol is currently the leading producer and consumer of hydrogen in Spain and uses this gas regularly as a raw material in its industrial processes.

The company is already deploying a multitude of projects throughout the renewable hydrogen value chain and is promoting the creation of large regional consortiums to promote large industrial projects, such as the Basque Hydrogen Corridor, the Hydrogen Valley in Catalonia, the Hydrogen cluster in Castilla-La Mancha and the Renewable Hydrogen Pole around the Escombreras Valley in Cartagena. Last September 20, Repsol announced that in 2022 it will start up its first electrolyzer in Petronor, with a capacity of 2.5 MW. In 2024, a 10 MW electrolyzer is scheduled to start up, also in the vicinity of Petronor, which will serve the synthetic fuels plant that the company will build together with Saudi Aramco. Repsol also plans to build other electrolyzers at Petronor and Cartagena, each with a capacity of 100 MW, to serve its industrial complexes.

Nedim Husomanovic

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