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Life Cycle Assessment of Hydrogen Production from Coal Gasification as an Alternative Transport Fuel


The gasification of Polish coal to produce hydrogen could help to make the country independent of oil and gas imports and assist in the rational energy transition from gray to green hydrogen. When taking strategic economic or legislative decisions, one should be guided not only by the level of CO2 emissions from the production process, but also by other environmental impact factors obtained from comprehensive environmental analyses. This paper presents an analysis of the life cycle of hydrogen by coal gasification and its application in a vehicle powered by FCEV cells. All the main stages of hydrogen fuel production by Shell technology, as well as hydrogen compression and transport to the distribution point, are included in the analyses. In total, two fuel production scenarios were considered: with and without sequestration of the carbon dioxide captured in the process. Life cycle analysis was performed according to the procedures and assumptions proposed in the FC-Hy Guide, Guidance Document for performing LCAs on Fuel Cells and H2 Technologies by the CML baseline method. By applying the CO2 sequestration operation, the GHG emissions rate for the assumed functional unit can be reduced by approximately 44% from 34.8 kg CO2-eq to 19.5 kg CO2-eq, but this involves a concomitant increase in the acidification rate from 3.64·10−2 kg SO2-eq to 3.78·10−2 kg SO2-eq, in the eutrophication index from 5.18·10−2 kg PO3− 4-eq to 5.57·10−2 kg PO3− 4-eq and in the abiotic depletion index from 405 MJ to 414 MJ and from 1.54·10−5 kg Sbeq to 1.61·10−5 kg Sbeq.

Funding source: This research was funded by AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland, for financial support (No and Project Interreg V-A Czech Republic—Poland, Microprojects Fund 2014–2020 in the Euroregion Silesia, reg. no. CZ.11.4.120/0.0/0.0/16_013/0002137).
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Poland

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