In methane pyrolysis, methane is split into gaseous hydrogen and fixed carbon. As a pure substance, the carbon can be safely stored in solid form and used in a multitude of industrial areas. Hydrogen can be used as a clean energy source in the fields of electricity, heat, and mobility or in industrial processes, for the manufacture of steel, for example. “The direct thermal decomposition of methane and other hydrocarbons offers a way of producing hydrogen from natural gas – without direct CO2 emissions,” explains Professor Thomas Wetzel of KIT. Together with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), his research team has developed a process in which methane is continuously broken up into its components hydrogen and fixed carbon in a bubble column reactor filled with liquid metal. The researchers have already received the German Gas Industry Innovation Award for their work. In an initial three-year project, KIT and its industry partner Wintershall Dea now want to lay the foundations for the future use of methane pyrolysis in industry.

With 200 exhibitors, Hydrogen + Fuel Cells EUROPE at HANNOVER MESSE 2020 is Europe's largest event on hydrogen and fuel cells.