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Enabling Low-carbon Hydrogen Supply Chains Through Use of Biomass and Carbon Capture and Storage: A Swiss Case Study


This study investigates the optimal design of low-carbon hydrogen supply chains on a national scale. We consider hydrogen production based on several feedstocks and energy sources, namely water with electricity, natural gas and biomass. When using natural gas, we couple hydrogen production with carbon capture and storage. The design of the hydrogen, biomass and carbon dioxide (CO2 ) infrastructure is performed by solving an optimization problem that determines the optimal selection, size and location of the hydrogen production technologies, and the optimal structure of the hydrogen, biomass and CO2 O2 networks. First, we investigate the rationale behind the optimal design of low-carbon hydrogen supply chains by referring to an idealized system configuration and by performing a parametric analysis of the most relevant design parameters of the supply chains, such as biomass availability. This allows drawing general conclusions, independent of any specific geographic features, about the minimum-cost and minimum-emissions system designs and network structures. Moreover, we analyze the Swiss case study to derive specific guidelines concerning the design of hydrogen supply chains deploying carbon capture and storage. We assess the impact of relevant design parameters, such as location of CO2 storage facilities, techno-economic features of CO2 capture technologies, and network losses, on the optimal supply chain design and on the competition between the hydrogen and CO2 networks. Findings highlight the fundamental role of biomass (when available) and of carbon capture and storage for decarbonizing hydrogen supply chains while transitioning to a wider deployment of renewable energy sources.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Switzerland

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