The consequences of climate change, whether driven by natural or anthropogenic influences, are already having a direct impact on humans, their health, food production and energy and are likely to increase unless mitigation or adaption is undertaken. Immediate, substantial and sustained efforts are required to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Society’s heavy and increasing dependence on the power, industrial and transportation sectors means that more sustainable technologies must be developed whilst reducing carbon emissions.
Hydrogen (H2) is a particularly versatile molecule that is a key raw material to other energy intensive industries. The main characteristic of the hydrogen combustion process is that it does not produce carbon dioxide (CO2) but water (H2O). As such it could play a significant role in the decarbonisation of industrial, e.g., heat and electricity production, and transportation sectors. It can be stored and transported via pipelines which could utilise existing infrastructure. Furthermore, its conversion into electricity within a fuel cell, means it can indirectly support the electricity system too.
The steam methane reformer (SMR) continues to be the leading producer of H2 from natural gas, however it produces H2 and CO2. If we were to couple the SMR with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) then the process would be considered carbon-neutral.
This project will carry out an extensive techno-economic study of different H2-CCUS systems using the Chemical Engineering package ASPEN Plus. The study will investigate varying factors such as H2 sources, H2 process and CCS process to ascertain optimal configurations and performance parameters for the UK scenerio.