The Linde Group has decided that double dipping will increase their revenues when creating alternative fuels of the future. In Leuna, Germany, the Linde Group is setting up a plant that will produce biodiesel first and then use the glycerin byproduct to produce hydrogen for cars.
The hydrogen will then be purified and liquefied at cryogenic temperatures and dispensed in towns like Hamburg and Berlin, which already have hydrogen fueling stations online. Presumably cars like the BMW Hydrogen 7 will refuel at these stations.
Glycerin made from biogenic raw materials (plants) is an excellent feedstock for hydrogen since glycerin contains eight hydrogen atoms. Of course there is no word yet on what Linde intends to do with the 3 carbon atoms in the glycerin when it is processed and reformed.
The production of hydrogen from glycerin will help supply the growing European Hydrogen Highway system and support Germany’s current 26 hydrogen refueling stations (equal to the number in California).
If Linde can use plant feedstock and double dip on its production of alternative fuels, there are likely many other manufacturers chomping at the bit to get onboard as well. Double dipping may be a social faux pas but in business, it just makes good sense.