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Life-Cycle and Applicational Analysis of Hydrogen Production and Powered Inland Marine Vessels


Green energy is at the forefront of current policy, research, and engineering, but some of the potential fuels require either a lot of deeper research, or a lot of infrastructure before they can be implemented. In the case of hydrogen both are true. This report aims to analyse the potential of hydrogen as a future fuel source by performing a life-cycle assessment. Through this the well-to-tank phase of fuel production, and the usage phase of the system have been analysed. Models have also been created for traditional fuel systems to best compare results. The results show that hydrogen has great potential to convert marine transport to operating off green fuels when powered through low-carbon energy sources, which could reduce a huge percentage of the international community’s greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen produced through wind powered alkaline electrolysis produced emission data 5.25 g of CO2 equivalent per MJ, compared to the 210 g per MJ produced by a medium efficiency diesel equivalent system, a result 40 times larger. However, with current infrastructure in most countries not utilising a great amount of green energy production, the effects of hydrogen usage could be more dangerous than current fuel sources, owing to the incredible energy requirements of hydrogen production, with even grid (UK) powered electrolysis producing an emission level of 284 g per MJ, which is an increase against standard diesel systems. From this the research concludes that without global infrastructure change, hydrogen will remain as a potential fuel rather than a common one.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United Kingdom

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