Bilfinger and Reverion sign letter of intent for strategic partnership
The aim of the strategic cooperation is to bring Reverion's innovative technology - a modular power plant based on fuel cells for efficient power generation and energy storage - to the market and to expand it on an industrial scale.
As a unique all-in-one solution, Reverion's patented technology enables not only efficient power generation from biogas with particularly high electrical efficiency, but also the generation and storage of green hydrogen or synthetic natural gas, as well as the cost-effective capture of clean, storable CO2, said Bilfinger.
After completion of the pilot phase, Bilfinger will support the spin-off from the Technical University of Munich in converting existing biogas plants to the new technology with a combination of comprehensive industrial services from various trades.
“We are pleased to support Reverion in the market launch of this pioneering solution for sustainable and efficient energy production. As a long-standing partner to the industry, we have extensive experience in the construction of complex plants and the necessary expertise in the integration of technologies,” said Bilfinger Group CEO Thomas Schulz.
“Our cooperation promises to establish an innovative technology in the energy industry that will secure the future profitability of existing biogas plants, bring flexibility to the market and enable long-term energy storage.”
Volatile renewables require technologies that can balance the grid and store energy.
Biogas is already an important part of the energy transition and the only renewable energy source that can provide both secure baseload power and balancing power for intermittent wind and photovoltaics.
However, conventional biogas combined heat and power (CHP) plants typically operate with gas engines that have a maximum efficiency of 40%, offer no storage option and emit several million tons of CO2 per year, according to Bilfinger.
Modern fuel cell systems achieve higher efficiencies of 50-60%, but due to significantly higher costs do not yet have an economic advantage over gas engines, added the company
Reverion's skid-based power plants, on the other hand, are designed to increase electrical efficiency by up to 80%.
In addition, the power plants can run “backwards” in reversible mode to produce and store green hydrogen or a renewable natural gas substitute in electrolysis mode when there is a temporary surplus of wind and solar power, according to the firm.
This multiple use creates a high degree of flexibility and, for the first time, economic superiority despite higher investment costs.
By capturing pure CO2 or converting it to natural gas substitute, the entire process becomes significantly carbon negative, enabling low-cost removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.
“Our technology offers a unique triple effect and opens new horizons for environmentally friendly energy conversion. This fundamental approach to efficiency and sustainability is what we seek in our partnerships. We are therefore pleased to have found in Bilfinger a strong and experienced partner who can support us with comprehensive industrial services from a single source,” said Stephan Herrmann, CEO and co-founder of Reverion.
Upon completion of the pilot phase in 2023, the 100 kW systems will go into series production.
According to the letter of intent, multidisciplinary teams from Bilfinger Engineering & Maintenance and Bilfinger Life Science Automation will support the start-up of the skid production and the conversion of existing biogas plants to the innovative technology.
The services include pipeline construction, installation of process technology components, production of special components and skid assemblies, as well as instrumentation and electrical engineering.