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Archive for the category “hydrogen”

2018 Hyundai NEXO Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

[] – The Top Gear car review: Hyundai Nexo
[] – Hyundai Nexo

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Largest Hydrogen Electrolyser Plant in the World (135/167 MW)

135 MW historic hydro-power electrolysis-based hydrogen production in Glomfjord, Norway 1953-1991

167 MW historic hydro-power electrolysis-based hydrogen production in Rjukan, Norway 1919-1988, possibly the oldest facility of its kind world-wide

The historic hydrogen production facilities were much larger than existing ones, but that could change really fast. They were located in Norway because of the abundance of cheap hydro-power, combined with the scientific interest in heavy water for the nuclear industry and other more down-to-earth applications of industrial hydrogen. The main challenge is to improve efficiency from currently 80% into 9x%, reduce cost and increase output. All the signs are that the hydrogen economy could have a new lease on life.

[] – The world’s most efficient and reliable electrolyser
[] – Nel Hydrogen about
[] – Large scale hydrogen-production
[deepresource] – 700 MW Renewable Hydrogen Plant to be Built in France
[] – Hydrogen economy
[] – Hydrogen station
[] – Hydrogen production
[] – Hydrogen fuel
[] – Hydrogen, don’t give up!
[] – Sintef
[deepresource] – The Netherlands is Placing its Bets on the Hydrogen Economy
[] – Nel-CEO Løkke im Exklusiv-Interview

Funding for 100 MW Hydrogen Electrolyser Feasibility Study

ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, is pleased to announce funding from Innovate UK for a feasibility study to deploy a 100MW Power-to-Gas (P2G) energy storage project, “Project Centurion” at Runcorn, Cheshire, UK.

This world class project explores the electrolytic production, pipeline transmission, salt cavern storage and gas grid injection of green hydrogen at an industrial scale. The feasibility study will explore the system design and costs and will assess the business case for deployment.

The vision for Project Centurion is to demonstrate a 100MW P2G energy storage system which can produce low carbon hydrogen for heat, decarbonisation of industry, and transport fuel. Once successfully demonstrated, such systems can make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of the electricity and gas networks, and by coupling these two networks together provide energy storage, allowing the UK energy system to accommodate increasing amounts of renewable energy, reducing curtailment and constraints. As well as contributing to decarbonisation, P2G systems can improve security of energy supply and improve the UK balance of payments by producing indigenous fuel offsetting the need to import fuel.

The transport of hydrogen by pipeline to salt caverns near Lostock, where it can be stored pure or blended with natural gas, will be explored, along with the feasibility of injection into the local gas network. Other potential demands for the hydrogen will be assessed, including industrial and transport use which will support existing studies in the area, particularly Cadent’s HyNet NW… objectives are: to produce a 100MW system design with costs significantly below current targets

These considerations apply to countries like Holland and Denmark as well, as they are both “equiped” with a large shallow part of the North Sea, ideal for the production of raw renewable electricity, that can be converted in hydrogen-fuel with 80-90% efficiency and at a cost of 0.5 cent/kWh.

[] – ITM Power lands feasibility funding for ambitious Cheshire energy storage project
[Google Maps] – Runcorn (near Liverpool)

Hydrogen From Electrolysis Now Cost-Competitive

I suggest that hydrogen will become the dominant route to long-term energy storage, not principally as the gas itself but in the form of methane and liquid fuels. To be clear, I think hydrogen fuel cell cars stand very little chance of competing against battery vehicles. However I do believe that using water electrolysis to make hydrogen, which is then merged with carbon-based molecules (such as CO2) to create synthetic natural gas and substitutes for petrol and aviation fuel is likely to be the central feature of the next phase of world decarbonisation. For the fossil fuel companies trying to find their way out of reliance on oil and gas, synthetic replacements for existing fuels have to be a key focus of their long-term planning. The manufacture of hydrogen, and the creation of renewable fuels that use this hydrogen, is an activity more similar to the core business of oil and gas companies than PV or wind… The government’s forecasts are frankly delusional: wholesale electricity prices are coming down, and down they will stay…

Almost all hydrogen is made today from what is known as ‘steam reforming’, usually of methane (the main constituent of natural gas). A stream of gas is mixed with high temperature steam in the presence of a catalyst. The eventual output of the process is a mixture of CO2 and hydrogen. The valuable hydrogen is collected and the CO2 vented to the atmosphere. If my calculations are correct, the hydrogen produced today through the steam reforming process is resulting in approximately 500 million tonnes of emissions a year, or well over 1% of global GHGs… When manufacture of H2 is switched from using methane to employing surplus electricity, hydrogen will be an important method of balancing the world’s grids. When power is abundant, the electrolysers will be turned on. Their work will stop when electricity gets scarce… Very roughly, a new electrolysis plant today delivers energy efficiency of around 80%… Some manufacturers see electrolyser costs of around £700,000 per megawatt within the next year or so. ITM Power, the Sheffield electrolysis manufacturer, says its costs are already below €1m (about £870,000) for each megawatt of capacity. … Electrolysers require little maintenance or much administrative labour… The capital cost of the electrolyser. I assume a purchase price (including installation) of €700,000 per MW of capacity to take electricity to generate hydrogen… I suggest that the electrolyser will work perhaps 4,000 hours a year, principally when power is cheap because of abundant wind or solar. At a discount rate of 7%, the owner will need to earn €65,000 a year to cover the cost over 20 years… The running cost… I estimate €5 per MWh… I think this is conservative… 800 kWh of hydrogen produced at a cost of £42.42 means a cost of 5.3 pence per kWh of energy.

[] – Hydrogen made by the electrolysis of water is now cost-competitive and gives us another building block for the low-carbon economy
[deepresource] – Hydrogen Production – High Temperature Electrolysis

Hydrogen, a Skeptic View

When we were kids we marveled over pictures with “identify the 10 differences” capture above it. Now that we are serious people, people with glasses and a deep frown, we instead marvel at discovering the flaws in reasoning. There we go:


Yeah right! The video compares electricity prices from a fully developed but dirty fossil fuel economy/grid with hydrogen prices from an almost non-existing hydrogen infrastructure. The video claims a price of $85 for 5 kg hydrogen or $17/kg. That’s like comparing the price of a liter of tap water with the price of a bottled water from the supermarket.

On world markets, the real price of bulk, industrial, fossil-based liquid hydrogen is far less: 2-3$/kg. Meanwhile hydrogen produced with electrolysis has become cost-competitive:

[] – Hydrogen made by the electrolysis of water is now cost-competitive and gives us another building block for the low-carbon economy

And the future is even better:

[deepresource] – Hydrogen Production – High Temperature Electrolysis

An expert from the hydrogen-production industry (electrolysis) in the link above predicts that in a few years the cost of electrolysis equipment will have come down to 500 euro/kW for 100 MW installations. That means that for 500 euro worth of equipment, you have a production capacity 1 kg hydrogen per hour. Assuming the economic life cycle to be in the order of a few years at least, we are talking about, say 3 x 365 x 24 = 26,280 hours = 26,280 kg of hydrogen. Which simply means that the cost of hydrogen-production will be negligible as compared to the cost of renewable electricity generation and storage and distribution cost of liquid hydrogen.

Future Driving – Hydrogen or Batteries?

[] – It’s too early to write off hydrogen vehicles

Our comment: we are uncomfortable with these huge batteries too. Our educated guess: batteries for light-weight 2-3 wheel vehicles for the shorter distances like commuting/local traffic and hydrogen for larger vehicles like multi-person on-demand transporters, trucks, trains, ships, planes.

Hydrogen Roadmap for the Netherlands

[] – Contouren van een Routekaart Waterstof
[] – Outlines of a Hydrogen Roadmap

Efficiency Water Electrolysis


Many see hydrogen as the prime candidate to solve the storage problems of a 100% renewable energy base. In order for this to happen, a sufficient electrolysis efficiency is required to end up with a “power-to-gas” process that is economical.

[] – Electrolysis of water

self-ionization of water. Pure water has an electrical conductivity about one millionth that of seawater. Many electrolytic cells may also lack the requisite electrocatalysts. The efficiency of electrolysis is increased through the addition of an electrolyte (such as a salt, an acid or a base) and the use of electrocatalysts… Currently the electrolytic process is rarely used in industrial applications since hydrogen can currently be produced more affordably from fossil fuels…

Efficiency of modern hydrogen generators is measured by energy consumed per standard volume of hydrogen (MJ/m3), assuming standard temperature and pressure of the H2. The lower the energy used by a generator, the higher would be its efficiency; a 100%-efficient electrolyser would consume 39.4 kilowatt-hours per kilogram (142 MJ/kg) of hydrogen,[22] 12,749 joules per litre (12.75 MJ/m3). Practical electrolysis (using a rotating electrolyser at 15 bar pressure) may consume 50 kilowatt-hours per kilogram (180 MJ/kg)…

There are two main technologies available on the market, alkaline and proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers. Alkaline electrolysers are cheaper in terms of investment (they generally use nickel catalysts), but less efficient; PEM electrolysers, conversely, are more expensive (they generally use expensive platinum-group metal catalysts) but are more efficient and can operate at higher current densities, and can therefore be possibly cheaper if the hydrogen production is large enough…

Conventional alkaline electrolysis has an efficiency of about 70%. Accounting for the accepted use of the higher heat value (because inefficiency via heat can be redirected back into the system to create the steam required by the catalyst), average working efficiencies for PEM electrolysis are around 80%. This is expected to increase to between 82-86% before 2030. Theoretical efficiency for PEM electrolysers are predicted up to 94%

[deepresource] – Hydrogen Production – High Temperature Electrolysis

According to Simon Bourne of ITM-Power in the 2nd video, the expectation is that by 2025, large-scale PEM-electrolysers, cost will have come down to 500 euro/kW.

[deepresource] – Cost Hydrogen From Renewable Energy

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Penetrating Shipping

Initiatives in Europe and America to bring hydrogen fuel cells to shipping propulsion.

[] – Hydrogen ship
[] – ABB & Ballard advance fuel cell ships
[] – Is there a future for H2-powered ship propulsion?
[] – Signs the H2 Fuel Cell Ship — or Truck — Has Sailed
[] – Maritime Applications for Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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World’s First Hydrogen Train Operational in Germany

[] – Hydrogen Is Competing With Batteries & Overhead Lines For Rail Energy

HYBRIT – Fossil Free Steel

Global crude steel production in 2017: 1.69 billion metric ton.
Every metric ton of produced steel comes with 1.83 ton CO2 emission.
Total global CO2 emissions are 3.09 billion metric ton.
Total global CO2 emission are 50 billion metric ton.
In other words, steel production is responsible for ca. 6% of global CO2 emission.

The Swedish HYBRIT program aims at taking out these 6% by switching from coal to hydrogen, replacing CO2 emissions with the harmless output of water.


[] – HYBRIT: Globally-unique Pilot Plant for creating Fossil-free steel
[] – HYBRIT – Toward fossil-free steel
[] – CO2 Emissions in the Steel Industry
[] – List of countries by steel production
[] –

Nel H2Station Factory

Norwegian “Nel Hydrogen” company has a hydrogen gas stations factory in Denmark with a capacity of max. 300 stations per year.

[] – Nel Company site

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Wind Meets Gas in the Netherlands

The Dutch minister of “economic affairs and climate” is passing the message that the Netherlands commits itself to a hydrogen economy and that it expects to be a major player in the hydrogen business within a decade.

The Netherlands is Placing its Bets on the Hydrogen Economy

Natural gas power plant Eemshaven. One of the blocks is retrofitted for hydrogen.

The Netherlands are “plat als een dubbeltje” (flat as a dime) and as such pumped hydro storage solutions are virtually impossible. The people behind the recent Climate Accord, that is from the industry to environmentalist groups, see hydrogen as the key of the energy transition. Current annual hydrogen production (from natural gas) is 800,000 ton, mostly for agriculture and refineries. The goal is “green hydrogen”, produced from solar and wind, without CO2 as a byproduct. Hydrogen is needed for several purposes: as storage and for certain aspects of industrial society that can’t be covered with electricity alone. Batteries alone are no solution. For the storage of 2000 kWh you would need 3 sea containers per household at the cost of 40,000 euro/year. You can store the same 2000 kWh worth of energy in a hydrogen container of merely 1 m3. And yes, there are considerable conversion losses from electricity –> H2 –> electricity, but hydrogen can be exported via existing but retrofitted natural gas networks, where building new cables would be 100-200 times more expensive.

Dutch industry is already busy with laying the foundations of a hydrogen economy. In the northern Groningen province, GasUnie is developing a small factory where solar electricity is converted in hydrogen (“power-to-gas”). The best location for large scale hydrogen factories is probably at sea, near the wind parks. Fortunately there is an enormous pipeline infrastructure in the North Sea, a left over of the gas and oil age, that can be reused for hydrogen. Large scale hydrogen production won’t happen before 2030, simply because there is yet not enough wind power generated that can’t be used immediately. 3,000 turbines are seen as a critical number from where storage would become necessary.

Currently Holland is competing with post-Fukushima Japan to be the owner of the first hydrogen economy.

[] – Ineens lijkt waterstof het antwoord op alle energieproblemen

[deepresource] – Nederlandse Regering Presenteert Klimaatakkoord
[deepresource] – First Climate Neutral Power Station in The Netherlands
[deepresource] – Prof. Ad van Wijk (#1 Dutch hydrogen guru)
[] – The Green Hydrogen Economy in the Northern Netherlands (English pdf, 51p)
[] – A Roadmap for The Green Hydrogen Economy in the Northern Netherlands

The report contains significant financial analysis on how green hydrogen can be produced at industrial scale, either from biomass gasification or water electrolysis, at a cost of EUR 2.20 to 2.30 per kg.

Nederland Waterstofland

Retrospect conference organized by Dutch employers’ organizations VNO-NCW and MKB on the topic of “The Netherlands Hydrogen Country”.

[] – Terugblik conferentie Nederland Waterstofland

National hydrogen guru prof. Ad van Wijk is baking an egg on hydrogen.

Groningen Wants to Become the Dutch Hydrogen Province

Why Groningen? Prof. van Wijk and premier hydrogen evangelist in the Netherlands sums it up:

1. Paris Accords. Not specific for Groningen, but important stimulus.
2. Groningen produced natural gas for decades. The expertise and infrastructure for a replacement is there.
3. There is a lot of renewable electricity on offer from Norway and from Danish, German and Dutch offshore wind parks.
4. There is a lot of chemical industry already present that could work with hydrogen.

The goal is to produce 270,000 tons of hydrogen annually, in order to bring down per kilo hydrogen prices to 2-3 euro.

[] – Groningen to Test Netherlands’ First Hydrogen Train
[] – The Green Hydrogen Economy in the Northern Netherlands
[] – Groningen Seaports investing in green hydrogen
[deepresource] – Prof. Ad van Wijk
[deepresource] – Price of Hydrogen Production via Electrolysis
[deepresource] – Cost Hydrogen From Renewable Energy

Price of Hydrogen Production via Electrolysis


It was the old idea of the hydrogen economy (first use term: 1970): intermittent renewable electricity in –> hydrogen out. Storage problem solved. The idea got discredited for cost reasons. These reasons are no longer valid and hydrogen is making a come-back.

Basic fact: It takes about 50 kWh of electrical energy to electrolyze 9 liters of water to obtain 1 kg of Hydrogen.

Price hydrogen from electrolysis: 2-3 euro/kg

Energy density (MJ/kg):
Hydrogen: 143
LNG: 56
Diesel: 48
Gasoline: 46

[] – Hydrogen made by the electrolysis of water is now cost-competitive
[] – Hydrogen Economy
[] – Veel wegen leiden naar waterstofeconomie

Photocatalytic Water Splitting

New TiO2 photocatalyst for water splitting. H2 bubbles are generated from the catalyst surface only by sunlight irradiation. Chemistry department of NUS.

[] – Photocatalytic water splitting

Solar driven water splitting for large-scale hydrogen fuel production from semiconductor photo-electrodes has the potential to provide energy on large scale from renewable, sustainable sources. Our research focuses on the kinetically more demanding oxygen-evolution reaction, and we prepare thin film metal oxide photoanodes by low-temperature, solution-based processes. One promising light absorber is TiO2:(Nb,N) where Nb and N substitute for Ti and O on their respective lattice sites in anatase. These materials are prepared by sol-gel processing followed by annealing in flowing ammonia. We observe a band-gap energy as low as 2.0 eV at 25% Nb and 2% N. In conjunction with a RuO2 catalyst, powdered TiO2:(Nb,N) evolves O2. A second class of materials we study is the transition-metal tungstates, and we have prepared our most promising candidate, CuWO4, by several routes: electrochemical deposition, sol-gel processing, and spray pyrolysis. These methods afford highly reproducible and robust CuWO4 thin-film electrodes on transparent conducting substrates. CuWO4 is an n–type semiconductor with a band-gap energy of ~2.4 eV. CuWO4 thin films photooxidize water with simulated solar radiation with a nearly quantitative Faradaic efficiency for O2 evolution at no applied bias in the presence of the sacrificial electron acceptor, [Fe(CN)6]3–. Most important, these thin-film electrodes are stable against photocorrosion when illuminated with visible light at neutral pH, a significant improvement to the more commonly studied photoanode, WO3. Current efforts are aimed at preparing complex tungstates that absorb lower energy light to improve the quantum yield. This talk was presented on May 14, 2013 as part of the IHS Markit Seminar Series.
Bart Bartlett, Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan

The Hydrogen Electrolyser

700 MW Renewable Hydrogen Plant to be Built in France

[source] Origin Norsk Hydro 1927.

Nel Hydrogen from Norway, with more than 80 years of experience in producing hydrogen, will build an initial 100 MW power-to-gas plant in Normandy, France between 2018-2020. Investment volume: 45 million euro. The intention is to expand to 700 MW by 2025. The resulting hydrogen will be mixed with natural gas in order to make the fuel “greener” by significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

[] – Nel ASA: Enters into exclusive NOK 450 million industrial-scale power-to-gas framework agreement with H2V PRODUCT
[] – Company site
[] – Nel ASA erhält Auftrag für weltweit größte Wasserstoff-Elektrolyseur-Tankstation

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