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Biogas Reforming as a Sustainable Solution for Hydrogen Production: Comparative Environmental Metrics with Steam-methane Reforming and Water Electrolysis in the Portuguese Context


This study delves into the dynamics of hydrogen production, with a specific focus on biogas reforming (BGSMR) for hydrogen generation. It compares the environmental impact of this solution with hydrogen production from natural gas-steam reforming (NGSMR) and commercial electrolysis in the Portuguese context. Various metrics, including carbon footprint, water depletion, energy utilization, and waste valorization are employed for a comprehensive comparison. The assessment explores the impact of operational parameters and different off-gas combustion scenarios, incorporating water recycling practices. Due to challenges in obtaining detailed data on the actual reforming process, the study relies on process simulation techniques, primarily using DWSIM. Commercially available data for water electrolysers were used for comparison. In the context of decarbonizing power systems, hydrogen from water electrolysis emerges as a competitive option only in a scenario where the power system is 100% reliant on renewable sources, particularly with respect to the carbon footprint metric. Biogas systems, characterized by near-zero carbon emissions, stand out as a favourable option from the near future to the long run. This research contributes valuable insights into the dynamics of hydrogen production, shedding light on environmentally viable alternatives across a range of power system scenarios.

Funding source: This research was funded by Move2LowC project (n. 46117), cofinanced by Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalizaç˜ ao (POCI); Programa Operacional Regional de Lisboa, Portugal 2020 and the European Union, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). This work was funded by the Portuguese Fundaçao ˜ para a Ciˆencia e a Tecnologia (FCT) I.P./MCTES through national funds (PIDDAC) – UIDB/50019/2020 ( 99/UIDB/50019/2020), UIDP/50019/2020 ( 99/UIDP/50019/2020) and LA/P/0068/2020 ( 4499/LA/P/0068/2020).
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Portugal

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