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Analysis of Hydrogen Production Costs in Steam-Methane Reforming Considering Integration with Electrolysis and CO2 Capture


Global hydrogen production is dominated by the Steam-Methane Reforming (SMR) route, which is associated with significant CO2 emissions and excess process heat. Two paths to lower specific CO2 emissions in SMR hydrogen production are investigated: (1) the integration of CO2 capture and compression for subsequent sequestration or utilization, and (2) the integration of electrolysis for increased hydrogen production. In both cases, the excess process heat is utilized to drive the emissions reduction options. Four different design regimes for integration of carbon capture and compression with the SMR process are identified. Techno-economic analyses are performed to study the effect of CO2 mitigation on hydrogen production costs compared to grey hydrogen production without emissions mitigation options. Integration with electrolysis is shown to be less attractive compared to the proposed heat and power integration schemes for the SMR process with CO2 capture and compression for subsequent sequestration or utilization, which can reduce emissions by 90% with hydrogen production costs increasing only moderately by 13%. This blue hydrogen production is compared in terms of costs and emissions against the emerging alternative production by electrolysis in the context of renewable and fossil electricity generation and electricity mixes while considering life-cycle emissions.

Funding source: This work was made possible by funding from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) project number NPRP12S-0304–190222 and cofunding support from Shell Global Solutions International B.V. and Qatar Shell Research and Technology Center.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Qatar

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