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Potential Cost Savings of Large-scale Blue Hydrogen Production via Sorption-enhanced Steam Reforming Process


As countries work towards achieving net-zero emissions, the need for cleaner fuels has become increasingly urgent. Hydrogen produced from fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage (blue hydrogen) has the potential to play a significant role in the transition to a low-carbon economy. This study examined the technical and economic potential of blue hydrogen produced at 600 MWth(LHV) and scaled up to 1000 MWth(LHV) by benchmarking sorption-enhanced steam reforming process against steam methane reforming (SMR), autothermal gasheated reforming (ATR-GHR) integrated with carbon capture and storage (CCS), and SMR with CCS. Aspen Plus® was used to develop the process model, which was validated using literature data. Cost sensitivity analyses were also performed on two key indicators: levelised cost of hydrogen and CO2 avoidance cost by varying natural gas price, electricity price, CO2 transport and storage cost, and carbon price. Results indicate that, at a carbon price of 83 £/tCO2e, the LCOH for SE-SR of methane is the lowest at 2.85 £/kgH2, which is 12.58% and 22.55% lower than that of ATR-GHR with CCS and SMR plant with CCS, respectively. The LCOH of ATR-GHR with CCS and SMR plant with CCS was estimated to be 3.26 and 3.68 £/kgH2, respectively. The CO2 avoidance cost was also observed to be lowest for SE-SR, followed by ATR-GHR with CCS, then SMR plant with CCS, and was observed to reduce as the plant scaled to 1000 MWth(LHV) for these technologies.

Funding source: The authors would like to acknowledge the funding provided by the Net Zero Research (formerly BF2RA) Grant 38 to undertake this research, and thank EDF Energy for their technical support.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: United Kingdom

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