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Application of Liquid Hydrogen Carriers in Hydrogen Steelmaking


Steelmaking is responsible for approximately one third of total industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Hydrogen (H2) direct reduction (H-DR) may be a feasible route towards the decarbonization of primary steelmaking if His produced via electrolysis using fossil-free electricity. However, electrolysis is an electricity-intensive process. Therefore, it is preferable that His predominantly produced during times of low electricity prices, which is enabled by the storage of H2. This work compares the integration of H2 storage in four liquid carriers, methanol (MeOH), formic acid (FA), ammonia (NH3) and perhydro-dibenzyltoluene (H18-DBT), in H-DR processes. In contrast to conventional H2 storage methods, these carriers allow for H2 storage in liquid form at moderate overpressures, reducing the storage capacity cost. The main downside to liquid Hcarriers is that thermochemical processes are necessary for both the storage and release processes, often with significant investment and operational costs. The carriers are compared using thermodynamic and economic data to estimate operational and capital costs in the H-DR context considering process integration options. It is concluded that the use of MeOH is promising compared to the other considered carriers. For large storage volumes, MeOH-based H2 storage may also be an attractive option to the underground storage of compressed H2. The other considered liquid H2 carriers suffer from large thermodynamic barriers for hydrogenation (FA) or dehydrogenation (NH3, H18-DBT) and higher investment costs. However, for the use of MeOH in an H-DR process to be practically feasible, questions regarding process flexibility and the optimal sourcing of CO2 and heat must be answered

Funding source: Swedish Energy Agency
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Sweden

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