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Moving Towards Hydrogen in 2030?

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Moving Towards Hydrogen in 2030?

Unread postby C8 » Wed 15 Jun 2022, 13:35:47

Recently there has been a renewed push towards the Hydrogen fuel economy by many actors and I thought it would be a good time to restart a Hydrogen thread- many of the old ones are very specific and I think a general thread is a good idea for all hydrogen related topics.

I will start with a fairly recent report on the basics of hydrogen safety issues made in 2019. This should act as a primer in what to look for on this topic and it seems pretty comprehensive. It is long, so I have bold faced some of the key elements for those of you who don't have the time now to read all the details.

Safety issues regarding fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen fueled vehicles

I. Introduction
The current discussion on dependence on foreign oil imports and the President’s
“Freedom Car” initiative has brought alternatively fueled vehicles and hydrogen to the attention
of the public. Even though all current fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles are experimental and only
being tested in low numbers on public roadways, several states have mandated zero emission
vehicles to be introduced (ZEV) in the near future.

As new technologies, fuel cells and hydrogen have some associated safety concerns that have to
be addressed. Although some of the concerns raised are similar to those encountered with
substances such as compressed or liquid natural gas (CNG or LNG) and technologies such as
electrically powered vehicles, the combination of different technologies in new vehicles and the
addition of new and unproven technology warrant special attention. First responders should be
informed of the potential risks of newly developed vehicles before they are commercialized, and
measures should be put in place to minimize the hazards to the general population.

II. Properties of Hydrogen
Hydrogen has several properties that differ strongly from natural gas or methane.
Hydrogen is being used experimentally as a vehicle fuel, not only because it oxidizes to harmless
water, but also because it has a higher energy density per unit of weight than CNG or methane.
One of the other positive characteristics of hydrogen is that it disperses very quickly, meaning
that hydrogen concentrations under normal pressure dissolve to incombustible levels very
quickly. This also means that under ambient air pressure hydrogen has very little energy density
per unit of volume compared to other vehicle fuels. Hydrogen also rises very quickly and
therefore is less of a threat outdoors.

While hydrogen has a high burn/explosive velocity, it has less explosive power than other fuelair mixes. Except in extremely high concentrations, hydrogen is not toxic to humans. Hydrogen
is odorless and tasteless. While the flame of burning hydrogen is visible under daylight
conditions, it is a lot less so than flames from other fuels due to the lack of soot. A hydrogen
flame can be most easily identified by the mirage-like effect on the air over and around the
flame, as it otherwise does not produce significant heat radiation.

Hydrogen also has many characteristics that warrant its being handled with great care.
Hydrogen-air mixtures can ignite or explode at both lower and higher concentrations of the gas
in the air than CNG or methane. Hydrogen is more easily ignited than other fuels. The impact of
this is negligible, however, as most other fuels can already be ignited by small amounts of static

To store hydrogen in liquid form, it has to be cooled down dramatically. Hydrogen has a boiling
temperature of only 20° Kelvin or -435° F. This causes the fuel to boil off very quickly when
spilled, creating only a narrow window for ignition. On the other hand, the intensely cold fuel
can cause serious cold burn damage to people and embrittle and break metal equipment in
particular. In enclosed locations with normal temperatures, spilled liquid hydrogen will create
enormous gas pressures, tearing apart vessels without safety valves.

III. Areas of Concern
The two prime dangers from fuel cell and hydrogen-powered vehicles are the danger of
electrical shock and the flammability of the fuel.

Fuel cells power vehicles by electro-chemically combining hydrogen gas (H2) and
oxygen (O2) from the surrounding air into water (H20) and electrical energy. The electrical
energy is then used to power both the locomotion of the vehicle through electrical motors and the
current electrical usage devices such as the radio, lights and air-conditioning. A notable
difference between current and new-technology vehicles is that the voltage needed to power the
electric motors is much higher in new vehicles than can be accommodated by the current
standard voltage of a 14V system; the automobile industry is in the process of moving to a new
standard of a 42V system. The 42V system was chosen as an industry standard in part for safety
reasons: anything greater than 50 volts can stop a human heart. On the other hand, some fuel
cell vehicle motors run on voltages exceeding 350V. With such high currents, the danger of
electric shock is great.

The second area of concern lies in the fuels used to power this future generation of
vehicles. Even though hydrogen remains the main focus of future fuel cell vehicles, it is neither
the only possible fuel for them (other fuels used to power fuel cells directly include methanol,
ethanol and methane), nor is hydrogen used only for this purpose. In addition, the hydrogen used
to power a vehicle does not necessarily have to be stored on the vehicle as hydrogen. Reforming
different hydrogen sources, such as alcohols, methane, propane and even regular gasoline, can
create gaseous hydrogen in the vehicle itself. Hydrogen stored as such in a vehicle or reformed in
it can also be used to power a ‘classic’ internal combustion engine. Besides reforming hydrogen
in the vehicle itself, there are several ways of storing hydrogen in a vehicle. Each has its own set
of flammability issues.

Both the electrical current and the flammability concern of the fuel translate into the
design needs for the vehicle itself as well as the requirements for structures intended for the
storage, refueling and repair of these vehicles.

A. The Vehicle Itself
Fuel cell vehicles currently being tested include public transportation and personal
mobility vehicles. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), there were nine different
hydrogen vehicle-testing projects underway in the US as of March 2003. The safety issues
regarding the vehicle can be divided into two separate categories. One category encompasses
issues with normal vehicle operations; the other category contains issues with vehicle accidents.
As stated above, the main issues with fuel cells and hydrogen-powered vehicles stem from
electrical shock and the flammability of the fuel.

1. Electric current
The fact that over 350V are needed for the drive train of fuel cell vehicles presents both
an electrocution hazard and an ignition source for fuel contained in the vehicle or outside
materials. Since a significant amount of the material used in vehicular construction is metal, with
some degree of electrical conductivity, there is a high potential for electrical faults. This can pose
a threat both in normal operations of the vehicle and especially in accidents. Even though most
designs contain failsafe switches for the electrical system, these switches may be short-circuited
if the vehicle is involved in an accident.

In addition to the electric current generated by the fuel cell during its operation, most
prototype vehicles have an electrical storage component for acceleration and start up, much like
today’s hybrid vehicles. Most fuel cell vehicle store and draw on this additional electricity in
form of batteries. Batteries can also represent the additional danger brought on by the presence of
acids, to both the electrical system and the fuel system. More exotic and less researched forms of
energy storage are ultra capacitors and mechanical flywheels. Ultra capacitors store electrical
energy under high voltages for rapid release. While this is positive for vehicle operation, it also
holds the risk of very strong unintentional electrical discharges. Flywheels store energy as
movement energy of a rapidly revolving weighted object in an electromagnetic enclosure that
acts as an electrical motor and generator. If flywheels are unbalanced or their enclosures broken
by an accident, they can release massive amounts of physical energy on their surroundings.

2. Electrical Drive System
The electrification of the drive system can also cause the vehicle to be a source of new
dangers. Electrical or computer faults can cause the vehicle to engage the motor by itself, reverse
the direction or engage the brakes.
It remains to be seen if these dangers are greater than those
posed by current mechanical drive systems, but new technology generally needs some time to
find and address some technical quirks.

B. Fuel-Specific Problems
Fuel cell vehicles can be fueled in a variety of different ways. Regardless of the source of the
fuel, the hydrogen, methane, methanol, or ethanol has to be stored and transported to the fuel cell
or engine.

1. Internal fuel transmission and consumption
Methanol and ethanol are both liquids and thus even though they are more flammable
than regular gasoline or diesel oil, they are more manageable than gaseous substances. Current
experience with conventional engines fueled with these two alcohols should be applicable to fuel
cells using them. Methanol has the added problem of being toxic.

Methane is the main component of natural gas (70%). The difference in the use of methane by
the fuel cell, as opposed to hydrogen, is that methane can produce carbon monoxide, which
besides being able to ‘poison’ the fuel cell can also poison occupants of the vehicle. Methane
fuel cells are in early stages of development with no current model uses in vehicles. Experience
with natural gas should be otherwise very much applicable to methane.

Thus, the main fuel-related issues for fuel cell safety regard the use of hydrogen. While being a
very clean and energy-dense fuel, hydrogen has the tendency to disperse quickly under normal
pressure. This causes the need for higher pressure of hydrogen in the fuel transport system than
for natural gas. Additionally, hydrogen molecules are so small that they can easily escape
through miniature holes and can even enter the molecular structure of some steels, making them
brittle over time
. Also, the use of very fine membranes in Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM)
fuel cells can lead to direct combustion of hydrogen with oxygen. In normal operation of the
vehicle, slowly escaping hydrogen that collects to form a flammable or even explosive mixture
with air is the main matter of concern. An accumulation of gaseous hydrogen is seen as
particularly dangerous in the enclosed passenger or storage compartments of any hydrogenfueled vehicle.

2. Fuel Storage
Storage of methanol and ethanol will be similar to that of today’s liquid fuels. Methane
storage can be virtually copied from natural gas storage either in compressed or liquid form.
Hydrogen storage again poses the main problem for fuel cell and hydrogen-using vehicles.
At normal pressure, hydrogen takes up a huge volume per unit of energy. This can be
addressed by creating hydrogen in the vehicle itself by reforming different hydrogen sources,
such as alcohols, methane, propane and even regular gasoline. Even though all these sources of
hydrogen have their own issues concerning fuel storage, there are established methods for storing
them. The reforming process, however, has its own risks, as it combines pressure and
temperature differences in an environment of moving volatile substances. There are numerous
approaches to reforming the different hydrogen-carrying substances. Most of these reforming
processes are still too energy intensive, hot or voluminous to be included in vehicles, particularly
in passenger cars. As reforming works around the most of the problems of hydrogen storage, it
has enormous potential.

Hydrogen can be stored in four main ways: compressed, as a liquid, in hydride form
bound to metals, or on the surface of solid porous materials or carbon nano-tubes. The forms of
storage that are currently being tested are compressed hydrogen and liquid hydrogen. Compressed hydrogen is stored at 3,600 psig, 5,000 psig or 10,000 psig. The first two of
these pressures are currently being tested.

In contrast with compressed natural gas (CNG), compressed hydrogen cannot be stored in steel tanks, as the hydrogen molecules would embrittle
the metal. Also the pressure in these tanks is much higher than in tanks for CNG. Even though
these tanks were and are being designed with extreme care, the possibility of a leak still exists.
This again might lead to the accumulation of flammable or even explosive hydrogen air
mixtures. The rupture of the pressure tank can cause very high concentrations of hydrogen to
form in the vicinity of the vehicle, as the turbulent flow rate of hydrogen is extremely high. Even
though hydrogen disperses very quickly, this emission will cause a combustible mix to form for a
short period in the open. Enclosed areas could accumulate enough hydrogen-air mixture for a
large explosion.

Liquid hydrogen (LH2) has to be stored at temperatures lower than 20° Kelvin or -435° F.
Even well-insulated storage tanks cannot maintain this low a temperature without relying on
outside cooling, which is prohibitive for passenger vehicles from an energy-needs standpoint.
The result of this is the expected leakage of 1%-3% of the hydrogen contained in the LH2 tank
per day, depending on the use and build of the vehicle. This controlled emission of hydrogen
over time is not considered overly dangerous, as controlled oxidization by catalysts or dispersion
is possible. Catastrophic ruptures of the LH2 tank can not only endanger people due to the
extreme temperature of the liquid, but can also lead to very high hydrogen concentrations in the
surrounding air, especially in confined places such as tunnels.

One of the safest methods of storing hydrogen in vehicles is by binding it with metal
hydrides. For this method of storage hydrogen, is bound to different metal alloys in porous and
sometimes loose form by applying moderate pressure and heat. The application of heat and the
reduction of the pressure are later used to extract the hydrogen gas from the metal. The greatest
drawback of this method is the weight of the metal hydride needed to contain sufficient fuel for
sustained vehicle operations (>200 mi). The weight of some alloys can go up to 1250 kg to store
15 kg of hydrogen, thereby greatly increasing the weight and also decreasing the vehicle’s
energy efficiency. Another potential problem with metal hydrides is the flammability of some of
the alloys used, such as magnesium in MgNi alloys, which have much better metal-to-hydrogen
rates than the example above.

Solid porous materials and carbon nano-tubes are still in the early stages of development.
While their properties appear to be close to metal hydride storage, they have other problems
related to the porous material, the high volume and weight of the material per weight of
hydrogen carried which are still unsolved. The carbon nano-tubes are now still prohibitively
expensive and also have the potential problem of flammability.

C. The Fueling and Maintenance of the Vehicle
Aside from being operated normally on public roads, fuel cell and hydrogen vehicles also
need to be parked, fueled and maintained. As most of the current hydrogen studies are being
conducted on a very low number of vehicles, their infrastructure is mostly located in a very
controlled environment. When these tests expand to ‘normal’ consumer trials, these vehicles
need a more public infrastructure available to them. This raises some associated safety concerns
with both new infrastructure for fueling and maintenance as well as private and public parking.

In a U.S. electric code from the 1930s, hydrogen was given a very high flammability class that
corresponds to high requirements for electric appliances in the vicinity of hydrogen. A review of
this rather extreme classification of hydrogen is under way.

1. Fueling
Both fuel cell vehicles requiring other types of fuel and hydrogen-powered vehicles will
need a specialized infrastructure to maintain their operations. As for the issues for the vehicle
fuel system, this paper focuses on hydrogen, since the other potential fuels are already being
distributed for fleets of vehicles or are similar to current fuels. Hydrogen today is transported as
a liquid in insulated trailers similar to fuel trucks. Future sources hydrogen for fueling stations
can be gaseous hydrogen pipelines or reforming hydrogen on-site from the source-fuels
described above. Aside from an injection fueling mechanism for the vehicles, there are issues
with the storage of hydrogen at the fueling sites and the detection of hydrogen leaks. Especially
with fuel cell vehicles, there is a great potential for problem with the electric circuitry in the
vicinity of flammable gases.

2. Maintenance
The main problem for maintenance localities for fuel cell and hydrogen-fueled vehicles is
the electric code mentioned above. Especially in connection with the high voltage and complete
electrification of these vehicles, this will definitely pose a problem. Aside from this, there are the
general problems of stationing a vehicle in an enclosed space because of the possibility of a
buildup of gaseous hydrogen.

a) Parking of the vehicle
Parking a hydrogen vehicle or other gas-fueled vehicle in an enclosed structure is a
serious safety concern as it can lead to a buildup of the gas. Hydrogen’s tendency to rise and
disperse rapidly makes this the only situation in which small leaks can create extremely
dangerous situations.

b) Emission
As noted above, liquid hydrogen tanks always emit small quantities of hydrogen if it is
not oxidized or burned off in a controlled manner. All hydrogen-containing fuel systems have a
great propensity for at least small leaks due to the pressure of the gaseous hydrogen and the
small size of the individual molecules. Because of the high dispersion rate of hydrogen, small
leaks would likely pose a problem only in small individual garages. Safety concerns in larger
private or public parking garages will be more of an issue if and when the number of hydrogenfueled vehicles rises dramatically. Without major changes to parking structures or installation of
continuous ventilation even in private, individual garages, hydrogen detectors will be essential to
protecting all enclosed environments in which hydrogen will be present.

3. Detection

The high probability of at least trickling emissions of hydrogen and the lower flammability level
of about 6% (hydrogen under normal pressure) leads to the necessity of early detection of even
very low concentrations of hydrogen. Sensors to detect concentration of hydrogen below the
lower flammability level are currently still very expensive. Odorants that are added to natural gas
cannot be easily added to hydrogen or methane used in fuel cells as the larger molecules and
especially the sulfur content of current odorants would poison fuel cells
. Research is being
conducted into the possibility of removing these odorants before the fuel enters the fuel cell. This
would leave the fuel cell itself and molecular-sized leaks in the fuel transport system as the only
sources of odor-free hydrogen. Odorants are still difficult for detectors to pick up, but they are
less expensive than hydrogen detectors

Source: ... Safety.pdf

I am sure some of these issues can be solved- others may be a harder nut to crack
Last edited by C8 on Wed 15 Jun 2022, 13:46:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moving Towards Hydrogen in 2030?

Unread postby C8 » Wed 15 Jun 2022, 13:40:45

Grey, blue, green – why are there so many colours of hydrogen?

There are many ‘colours’ of hydrogen – each referring to how it is produced.
Green hydrogen is the only variety produced in a climate-neutral manner.
It could play a vital role in global efforts to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Green hydrogen has been hailed as a clean energy source for the future. But the gas itself is invisible – so why are so many colourful descriptions used when referring to it?

It all comes down to the way it is produced. Hydrogen emits only water when burned. But creating it can be carbon intensive.

So various ways to lessen this impact have been developed – and scientists assign colours to the different types to distinguish between them.

Depending on production methods, hydrogen can be grey, blue or green – and sometimes even pink, yellow or turquoise – although naming conventions can vary across countries and over time.

But green hydrogen is the only type produced in a climate-neutral manner, meaning it could play a vital role in global efforts to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.

Black, brown and grey hydrogen
Grey hydrogen is the most common form and is generated from natural gas, or methane, through a process called “steam reforming”.

This process generates just a smaller amount of emissions than black or brown hydrogen, which uses black (bituminous) or brown (lignite) coal in the hydrogen-making process.

Black or brown hydrogen is the most environmentally damaging as both the CO2 and carbon monoxide generated during the process are not recaptured.

Blue hydrogen
Hydrogen is labelled blue whenever the carbon generated from steam reforming is captured and stored underground through industrial carbon capture and storage (CSS).

Blue hydrogen is, therefore, sometimes referred to as carbon neutral as the emissions are not dispersed in the atmosphere.

However, some argue that “low carbon” would be a more accurate description, as 10-20% of the generated carbon cannot be captured.

Green hydrogen
Green hydrogen – also referred to as “clean hydrogen” – is produced by using clean energy from surplus renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, to split water into two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom through a process called electrolysis.

Renewables cannot always generate energy at all hours of the day and green hydrogen production could help use the excess generated during peak cycles.

It currently makes up about 0.1% of overall hydrogen production, but this is expected to rise as the cost of renewable energy continues to fall.

Many sectors also now see green hydrogen as the best way of harmonizing the intermittency of renewables – storing excess energy at times of low demand to be fed back into the grid when demand rises – while decarbonizing the chemical, industrial and transportation sectors.

Other colours of hydrogen
Turquoise hydrogen refers to a way of creating the element through a process called methane pyrolysis, which generates solid carbon.

As such, there is no need for CCS and the carbon can be used in other applications, like tyre manufacturing or as soil improver.

Its production is still in the experimental phase.

Then there is pink hydrogen. Like green hydrogen, it is created through electrolysis of water but the latter is powered by nuclear energy rather than renewables.

The extreme temperatures from nuclear reactors could also be used in other forms of hydrogen production by producing steam for more efficient electrolysis, for example.

Meanwhile yellow hydrogen is the term used for hydrogen made through electrolysis of water using solar power, although some use it to mean hydrogen generated through electrolysis of water using mixed sources depending on what is available.

Hydrogen can also be generated from biomass and, depending on the type of biomass and CCS technologies, can have lower net carbon emissions than black/brown or grey hydrogen. ... -hydrogen/

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Re: Moving Towards Hydrogen in 2030?

Unread postby C8 » Wed 15 Jun 2022, 13:43:12

What Is Holding The Hydrogen Boom Back?

By Alex Kimani - Jun 14, 2022, 5:00 PM CDT

While the hype around the potential of hydrogen power has been with us for decades, it is only recently that it has begun to recognize that potential.
One of the major issues currently being dealt with is working out how to finance a hydrogen deal, with no single model having emerged in this nascent industry.
In the U.S., government funding is going to play a central role in the growth of the domestic hydrogen industry.

Hydrogen power has been on the market for decades but has never really been able to break the glass ceiling of mass-market appeal, mainly due to a host of technical and cost issues. But some experts now believe that the hydrogen economy is ready for take-off, with Goldman Sachs predicting hydrogen generation could become a $1 trillion per year market. The EU has hatched a highly ambitious plan to install 40 gigawatts of electrolyzers within its borders and support the development of another 40 gigawatts of green hydrogen in nearby countries that can export to the EU by 2030. The EU has also pledged to cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of the year and has doubled down on green energy fuels by increasing renewable hydrogen production.

But for all the buzz surrounding green and blue hydrogen, few low-carbon hydrogen project financing deals have actually been closed to date. That's the case because financing low-carbon hydrogen projects requires cataloging and allocating risks in a manner that is familiar to project financiers--something that is proving to be a hard nut to crack because expectations around how financing and offtake deals will be structured tend to vary widely.

Varying Expectations

Currently, there is no merchant market for hydrogen. For hydrogen projects to become financeable, they must have a bankable offtake scheme. But expectations around how financing and offtake deals will be structured vary widely, adding complexity to the contracting process, as Frank O'Sullivan, managing director at venture capital firm S2G Ventures, has told the ACORE Finance Forum. There's also no shortage of investors interested in the hydrogen sector, but many are sitting on the sidelines and watching to see how the first round of deals pans out.

"There isn't a single model that defines, this is how the hydrogen play works. There will be several models, and those models have not emerged yet," O'Sullivan has said.

It's a viewpoint reiterated by Greg Cameron, executive vice president and chief financial officer of hydrogen fuel cell maker Bloom Energy (NYSE:BE). According to Cameron, on one end, there's the acquisition of energy needed to drive electrolysis. On the other end, there are the off-takers, who may come from diverse industries with different expectations for how a contract should be structured.

Luckily, O'Sullivan says that the path to getting actual hydrogen infrastructure off the ground is relatively clear. The capital costs associated with electrolysis are declining, while access to renewable energy that's cheap enough to generate hydrogen from water and still sell a cost-competitive fuel is on the horizon.

Rachel Crouch, a senior associate at Norton Rose Fulbright, has proposed that existing use cases for hydrogen--which today rely almost exclusively on gray hydrogen--may be among the first green or blue hydrogen opportunities to be financeable, because the offtake picture is already clear and is likely easier to model.

Crouch suggests ammonia is one such area because a market already exists for ammonia, and several green ammonia projects have been proposed or are in the early stages of development.

She sees petroleum refining as another area where bankable early green or blue hydrogen projects are likely to emerge because refineries are among the largest users of hydrogen as a fuel stock. In this case, early-stage hydrogen projects may contract with refineries as offtakers, and notes that several pilot projects are already being developed in this sector.

Crouch adds that specialty vehicles are also showing early promise where hydrogen is already being used to power fuel cells. Fuel cells are used in specialty vehicles such as forklifts and by energy consumers to complement electricity from the grid to smooth energy costs and ensure reliability.

Biden's $9.5B Hydrogen JackPot

Here in the United States, the U.S. government is likely to play a key role in launching the hydrogen economy.

After years of failed efforts in Washington to overhaul physical infrastructure, last year, President Joe Biden signed the more than $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law, unlocking funds for transportation, broadband and utilities. Buried deep into the historic plan was a provision for $9.5 billion in funding to build at least four hydrogen hubs--places where the gas can be produced and used in a self-reinforcing cycle.

A hydrogen economy that runs factories and power plants on the fuel may be years away; however, that has not stopped multiple U.S. states from scrambling for Biden's hydrogen bonanza, never mind the fact that many have not even worked out the details of how they intend to realize their hydrogen dream.

According to Bloomberg, many states are forming strategic partnerships to increase their chances of landing funding. For example, New York has formed an alliance with Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut to produce green hydrogen. Their plan appears to make sense considering that none of the four states is endowed with natural gas, the raw material used in the production of natural gas through steam-methane reforming. New York is also home to one of the country's hydrogen behemoths: Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ:PLUG).

In May, McDermott (OTCPK:MDRIQ) announced that it will design and build two 500K-gallon double-wall liquid hydrogen spheres for Plug Power's new green hydrogen production facility in New York. Plug says it expects the production facility, which will leverage its proton exchange membrane electrolyzer technology, to produce 45 metric tons/day of green liquid hydrogen, making it the largest green hydrogen facility in North America.

Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have forged another partnership that will use existing infrastructure to form the basis of its hub. Hydrogen is already produced in the region using natural gas and used in some manufacturing processes, such as lowering the sulfur content of fuels from refineries. To qualify for the federal money, the carbon dioxide released by stripping hydrogen from gas will need to be captured and stored, most likely underground. The three states intend to use their hydrogen to decarbonize heavy industry and transportation.

A third alliance involving Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming also seems to be taking an "all-of-the-above" approach. The sprawling combination of states includes plenty of natural gas and renewables, particularly wind power, and their agreement to seek funding highlights both.

Back in February, a coalition of businesses that includes Equinor ASA (NYSE:EQNR), Mitsubishi Power, Marathon Petroleum Corp. (NYSE:MPC) and United States Steel Corp. (NYSE:X) said they would help work on a hub that would knit together Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia ... -Back.html

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Re: Moving Towards Hydrogen in 2030?

Unread postby C8 » Wed 15 Jun 2022, 13:45:25

Saudi Arabia Bets Big On Blue Hydrogen
By Alan Mammoser - Jun 14, 2022, 12:00 PM CDT

Hydrogen is booming, and Saudi Arabia is racing to get a piece of the pie.

Hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels could replace gray hydrogen, strengthening Saudi export potential in a range of products
Saudi Arabia is already a large consumer of hydrogen for its refinery and chemicals industries.
While the world begins to build the infrastructure of a future hydrogen economy, the economics of global trade in carbon-free hydrogen are becoming more clear. Among countries expected to find significant opportunities in that future market is Saudi Arabia.

According to a recent report from a notable Riyadh-based research institute, green hydrogen produced from electrolysis could begin to ship to the Port of Rotterdam in 2030 at prices quite competitive with European hydrogen, depending partly upon the shipping method used.

The researchers also see significant potential for hydrogen in KSA’s domestic industry. Hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels could replace gray hydrogen, strengthening Saudi export potential in a range of products as more costs are imposed on carbon emissions worldwide.

They see great potential for both blue (with carbon capture) and green (with renewable energy) hydrogen, with technology and production costs gradually falling for both types. Their outlook for blue is more positive than that of some recent analyses, which foresees green hydrogen beating blue on price in many regions of the world by 2030.

But Saudi Arabia’s apparent advantages in producing low-cost hydrogen of both types may allow it to develop each for the long term. Therefore the researchers advocate a balanced approach, anticipating regional specialization within the country.

Realistic assumptions

The report, “The Economics and Resource Potential of Hydrogen Production in Saudi Arabia” by the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), was issued in March.

The KAPSARC researchers look at realistic cost scenarios based on realistic assumptions about the price of natural gas in Saudi Arabia, and the cost of electricity from renewable sources. The anticipated costs and capacity factors of electrolysis systems are also carefully considered.

Saudi Arabia is already a large consumer of hydrogen for its refinery and chemicals industries; primarily ‘gray’ hydrogen produced with high carbon emissions. It is by far the cheapest way to produce the gas at about $0.90/kg. But costs of blue and especially green hydrogen are expected to decline substantially in the next few years.

Blue hydrogen gains an advantage from Saudi Arabia’s huge production of natural gas and its closed market for it. KSA neither exports nor imports natural gas and maintains a low price, currently at $1.25/MMBtu. At this price, the cost of producing blue hydrogen could fall from the current $1.34/kg to $1.13/kg by 2030. This assumes ongoing cost reductions in carbon capture & storage (CCS) methods as these scale up.

The cost of green hydrogen is highly dependent on the cost of electricity from renewable sources and electrolysis. It is $2.16/kg today based on an electricity price of $18.3/MWh (an average of auction prices for new solar projects in Saudi Arabia). The researchers see that this cost could fall to $1.48/kg by 2030, if renewable energy costs fall to $13/MWh.

The cost of green hydrogen production in KSA could fall further to $1/kg by 2050. Reaching the vaunted $1/kg target assumes electrolyser capital costs drop to $400 per kilowatt, with renewable energy costs falling below $10/MWh, both realistic scenarios.

The researchers see an enormous advantage in KSA’s ability to achieve high capacity factors in its production of renewable electricity. They assert that capacity factors can reach 60% in the production of renewable power in Saudi Arabia; that it is possible with a PV-Wind hybrid system. In fact, large areas of the country, especially in the western region, are favorable for diurnal (day and night) solar and wind energy production. This greatly surpasses, for example, wind power in Europe with capacity factors of approximately 35%.

With this advantage, however, a carbon price in some form will still need to be imposed in Saudi Arabia. The report says that green hydrogen will be competitive with grey hydrogen by 2030, at the current domestic natural gas price of $1.25/MMBtu and a carbon price of about $65 per tonne.

Expediting exports

Assuming a green hydrogen production cost of $1.48/kg by 2030, the delivered cost of hydrogen from Saudi Arabia’s western region to the Port of Rotterdam via the Suez Canal can be quite competitive.

To estimate it, the researchers also make assumptions about conversion to carrier, shipping and dehydrogenation costs. They think liquid hydrogen can arrive at Rotterdam in 2030 with a delivery cost averaging between about $3.50/kg and $4.50/kg. This compares favorably to the expected cost of green hydrogen production in Europe, which according to recent research will be between $3/kg and $5/kg in 2030.

While it appears that Saudi hydrogen exports to Europe can be competitively priced, much will depend on the type of carrier used. Methods for the sea transport of liquid hydrogen, or in the form of a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC), are still in development. Ammonia is a proven carrier of hydrogen energy, but it requires cracking the ammonia back to hydrogen (dehydrogenation) if pure hydrogen is needed. This adds an additional cost ranging from $1/kg to $2/kg according to recent research.

To avoid this potential cost, the KAPSARC researchers suggest that Saudi producers look for opportunities to trade ammonia for direct use, whether blue or green. Markets may be found by substituting for gray ammonia in the production of fertilizers. New applications, such as blue ammonia for power generation in Japan, may also open opportunities for export.

They also advocate for de-carbonizing domestic industries, such as ammonia and methanol plants, by switching them to low-cost blue or green hydrogen. This conversion could extend to other domestic industries, such as steel, cement and aluminum. The researchers also see potential in the transport sector, with new fuel cell applications and sustainable jet fuel.

This strategy could lower the country’s carbon footprint while also opening new opportunities for the production of carbon-neutral products for export. Low-carbon hydrogen would lower the carbon content of many industries’ finished products, thereby better positioning them for international markets as carbon policies become more stringent worldwide.

Regions green and blue

Saudi Arabia’s vast territory suggests that regional specialization for hydrogen production is feasible. The KAPSARC report sees two general regions where unique combinations of infrastructure and natural features could make hydrogen production costs among the lowest in the world, for both green and blue hydrogen.

The country’s eastern region, with its great apparatus of oil and gas production, refining, and chemical industries, has much of the infrastructure in place to support the development of a blue hydrogen industry. This includes access to deep saline aquifers for CO2 storage.

The western region enjoys very strong solar and wind resources to produce low-cost electricity for green hydrogen production. The NEOM project, in the northwest, is already the site of what is planned to be one of the largest green ammonia production plants in the world. Its hydrogen will be used to produce ammonia intended largely for export.

These unique regional advantages may allow KSA to pursue a broad hydrogen strategy that encompasses both green and blue hydrogen.

Whether such a regional strategy proves viable will depend on the relative costs of blue and green hydrogen. Recent analysis by BloombergNEF, which looks at costs in 28 countries, shows that blue hydrogen will not be viable in many parts of the world in 2030. Even in countries such as the United States, with relatively inexpensive natural gas, green hydrogen from renewable power will cost less to produce than blue hydrogen in 2030, according to this analysis.

But the case may be different in KSA, which was not among the countries modeled in the BloombergNEF analysis.

“The competitiveness of blue hydrogen would depend on the price at which gas is acquired from Aramco,” says Antoine Vagneur-Jones, head of Trade and Supply Chains at BloombergNEF, currently working on a forthcoming report on Middle East & North Africa hydrogen exports.

“Existing production, transport and storage infrastructure, and a local hydrocarbon value chains are of course advantages when scaling blue H2,” he says.

Vagneur-Jones cautions that opportunities for blue hydrogen export may be limited by competition and by external constraints. Europe’s emerging demand for hydrogen imports may be restricted by the mandate for green hydrogen. Meanwhile, places looking to import blue hydrogen, such as Japan, may find a closer low-cost supplier, namely Australia.

Therefore he thinks that Saudi Arabia’s green hydrogen is destined for export while its blue variety will help decarbonize local hydrogen consumption (which, at 2.29 million metric tons per year in 2019, is the largest in the Middle East by far).

“Local gray hydrogen is used to make methanol and refined oil products, both of which are high potential sectors for low-carbon hydrogen use,” he says.

By Alan P. Mammoser for ... rogen.html

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Re: Moving Towards Hydrogen in 2030?

Unread postby Tanada » Wed 15 Jun 2022, 21:53:55

As has been pointed out endlessly it seems Hydrogen is just an energy storage media not an independent energy supply.

We have known for umpteen years now how to make Ammonia by reacting Hydrogen and Nitrogen over a catalyst. Mostly this is done to create fertilizer but as a side benefit this has caused a networks of ammonia transportation pipelines to be built in various places so that one ammonia production facility can send fertilizer to farms over a wide area.

Ammonia can be burned in a Gasoline style IC motor with a very small adjustment that in modern vehicles is done automatically by the monitoring computer. Ammonia is like Propane, it is a gas at room temperature and pressure but under mild pressure in a tank it condenses into a liquid still at room temperature. In its liquid phase it produces about half as much combustion energy as gasoline but because it vaporizes as it is injected into the intake manifold its mixing ratio is much easier to get the ideal balance. So by switching over to burning Ammonia in road vehicles we could replace gasoline in a phased transition. Even better it could be mandated that all new vehicles be plug in hybrids so that even the Gasoline or Diesel fueled vehicles could run on straight battery power for all short trips and recharge overnight off house current. Ammonia IC Motors

Failing that common sense approach there are also Ammonia fuel cell types that have been developed though for whatever reason the fuel cell advocates never seem to suggest using them. Ammonia Fuel Cell

Thirdly why the authors of your piece on "blue hydrogen" label nuclear power produced Hydrogen as 'pink' is a real mystery. It produces no CO2 emissions and has in general a much smaller impact that an equally powerful Solar or Wind farm for the electricity demanded and on top of that the nuclear plant can also supply process heat making the electrolysis procedure more energy efficient. If you heat water in a pressure vessel above the normal boiling point and then electrolyze it the molecules come apart much easier than if you use cold water. The heat effectively reduces the current needed to break the molecule apart by a substantial percentage which means a nuclear plant dedicated to Hydrogen production could be engineered to produce vastly more hydrogen for its nameplate power capacity than an equally powerful nameplate capacity giant solar or wind facility.
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Re: Moving Towards Hydrogen in 2030?

Unread postby C8 » Wed 15 Jun 2022, 23:49:10

I found this on ammonia:

A report compiled last August by Haldor Topsoe, an ammonia production technology firm, and other companies noted a number of those qualities. Ammonia has a higher energy density, at 12.7 MJ/L, than even liquid hydrogen, at 8.5 MJ/L. Liquid hydrogen has to be stored at cryogenic conditions of –253 °C, whereas ammonia can be stored at a much less energy-intensive –33 °C. And ammonia, though hazardous to handle, is much less flammable than hydrogen.

Furthermore, thanks to a century of ammonia use in agriculture, a vast ammonia infrastructure already exists. Worldwide, some 180 million metric tons (t) of ammonia is produced annually, and 120 ports are equipped with ammonia terminals. ... 20hydrogen.

I am not sure why so many are focusing on hydrogen over ammonia
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Re: Moving Towards Hydrogen in 2030?

Unread postby C8 » Wed 15 Jun 2022, 23:51:50

C8 wrote:I found this on ammonia:

A report compiled last August by Haldor Topsoe, an ammonia production technology firm, and other companies noted a number of those qualities. Ammonia has a higher energy density, at 12.7 MJ/L, than even liquid hydrogen, at 8.5 MJ/L. Liquid hydrogen has to be stored at cryogenic conditions of –253 °C, whereas ammonia can be stored at a much less energy-intensive –33 °C. And ammonia, though hazardous to handle, is much less flammable than hydrogen.

Furthermore, thanks to a century of ammonia use in agriculture, a vast ammonia infrastructure already exists. Worldwide, some 180 million metric tons (t) of ammonia is produced annually, and 120 ports are equipped with ammonia terminals. ... 20hydrogen.

I am not sure why so many are focusing on hydrogen over ammonia

You are right about hydrogen being only a carrier of energy- but I think people are getting desperate to find storage mediums for intermittent renewable energy to supply continuous energy- not sure why ammonia gets less attention
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