HydroMine Project

The Project

HydroMine – “Development of hydrogen-oriented municipal waste refinery based on a novel borehole gasification process combined with advanced gas separation techniques” – is a project, funded by the EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel, set to run from 2023 to 2026. Its goal is to lay the groundwork for an innovative gasification technology that can convert the high-energy fraction of municipal waste (also known as Refuse Derived Fuel or RDF) into a gas-rich in hydrogen.

The gasification technology under development employs the borehole method in a large-size fixed bed, drawing on techniques and experience from in-situ coal gasification. Advanced membrane and adsorption techniques, along with catalytic-plasma enrichment, will be used to extract hydrogen from the gas produced by gasification and to purify it.

Hydrogen has a key role in industry, where it is used in many fundamental chemical processes, such as oil refining, and the synthesis of ammonia and methanol. It also serves as a fuel for fuel cells in modern transportation. Currently, most of the world’s hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, primarily through steam reforming of natural gas. The global hydrogen generation market, valued at USD 135.94 billion in 2021, is projected to grow to USD 219.2 billion by 2030. The reuse of municipal waste, particularly its high-energy fraction – RDF by gasification for producing hydrogen aligns perfectly with the principles of the circular economy. The hydrogen produced in the HydroMine process can be reused for chemical syntheses, such as methanol, ammonia, or plastics.

Currently, commercial gasification reactors face several challenges when gasifying RDF fuel, mainly owing to the need for appropriate feedstock preparation and the variation of RDF properties over time. The technology proposed in this project aims to overcome these challenges through the application of a system of large-scale packed-bed gasifiers. By using CO2 separation, the HydroMine process aims to produce blue hydrogen with a wide range of possible end uses – from modern transport to industrial applications.

The project consortium consists of seven partners from four different EU countries, coordinated by the Central Mining Institute – National Research Institute (GIG-PIB) in Poland. The other partners include the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche – Istituto per la Tecnologia delle Membrane (CNR-ITM) in Italy, MASTER Odpady I Energia Sp. z o. o. in Poland, the University of Mons (UMONS) in Belgium, Materia Nova in Belgium, and IPAS in Belgium.


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Significant breakthroughs in the municipal solid waste gasification and in the separation of complex gas mixtures, for hydrogen and carbon dioxide recovery.

Increase in availability of cheaper hydrogen, second life of the mechanical coal processing plants.

Reduction of greenhouse gases emission from the landfills - methane, minimization of the odour nuisance of the municipal waste landfills, employment at the coal processing plants remained.