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Reducing the Cost of Low-carbon Hydrogen Production via Emerging Chemical Looping Process


A thorough techno-economic analysis where inherent carbon capture is examined against state-of-the-art blue hydrogen production configurations for large (100,000 Nm3 /h) and very large (333,000 Nm3 /h) capacities. Advanced solvent-based technologies based on post-combustion capture and auto-thermal reformer combined with a gas heated reformer are simulated with process flowsheet software and compared with the emerging chemical looping process. A network of dynamically operated packed bed reactors has been designed and modelled using an in-house code and key parameters generating uncertainties in the results have been examined in a sensitivity analysis. The chemical looping reforming process presents a higher net reforming efficiency than the benchmark cases (8.2 % higher at large scale and 1.5 % higher at very large scale) ranged 75.4–75.7 % while the specific energy for CO2 avoidance is negative in the range of − 0.78 to − 0.85 MJ/kgCO2. In the carbon capture cases, the chemical looping reforming in packed beds technology generated a levelised cost of hydrogen of 168.9 £/kNm3 H2 for the large scale and 159.1 £/kNm3 H2 for the very large scale, with the values for the benchmark cases being higher at 196.4 and 166.6 £/kNm3 H2, respectively while the levelised cost of hydrogen values are 1 % higher in the benchmark cases where carbon emission price is accounted for. The carbon capture ratio is 99.9 % for the chemical looping reforming cases compared to 90–91 % for the benchmark ones, thus providing a significant foreground for the scale-up and implementation of chemical looping reforming technologies for hydrogen production.

Funding source: The authors acknowledge the Department of BEIS in the framework of the Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2: Stream 1 Phase 1 Competition (TRN 5044/04/2021) (RECYCLE, HYS2137) for providing funding and support to the development of this study.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: France ; United Kingdom

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