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Techno-Economic Evaluation of Hydrogen Production via Gasification of Vacuum Residue Integrated with Dry Methane Reforming


The continuous rise of global carbon emissions demands the utilization of fossil fuels in a sustainable way. Owing to various forms of emissions, our environment conditions might be affected, necessitating more focus of scientists and researchers to upgrade oil processing to more efficient manner. Gasification is a potential technology that can convert fossil fuels to produce clean and environmentally friendly hydrogen fuel in an economical manner. Therefore, this study analyzed and examined it critically. In this study, two different routes for the production of high-purity hydrogen from vacuum residue while minimizing the carbon emissions were proposed. The first route (Case I) studied the gasification of heavy vacuum residue (VR) in series with dry methane reforming (DMR). The second route studied the gasification of VR in parallel integration with DMR (Case II). After investigating both processes, a brief comparison was made between the two routes of hydrogen production in terms of their CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, energy consumption, and environmental and economic impacts. In this study, the two vacuum-residue-to-hydrogen (VRTH) processes were simulated using Aspen Plus for a hydrogen production capacity of 50 t/h with 99.9 wt.% purity. The results showed that Case II offered a process energy efficiency of 57.8%, which was slightly higher than that of Case I. The unit cost of the hydrogen product for Case II was USD 15.95 per metric ton of hydrogen, which was almost 9% lower than that of Case I. In terms of the environmental analysis, both cases had comparably low carbon emissions of around 8.3 kg of CO2/kg of hydrogen produced; with such high purity, the hydrogen could be used for production of other products further downstream or for industrial applications.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Saudi Arabia

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