A team led by CoorsTek Membrane Sciences has demonstrated a system to convert methane via proton ceramic reactors, while Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser has received an order from an undisclosed Indian refinery for an alkaline electrolyzer, in a deal that underscores how oil and gas companies are becoming increasingly interested in the hydrogen sector.
CoorsTek Membrane Sciences has led a team of Norwegian researchers to demonstrate a 36-cell reactor stack enabled by a new interconnect. The team claims it achieves “complete conversion of methane with more than 99% recovery to pressurized hydrogen.” The optimized reactor solves two problems related to scaling proton ceramic reactors (PCERs): matching the spatial distribution of heat from compression with the extent of chemical reactions through a stacked reactor, and the lack of interconnect materials with high electrical conductivity and chemical stability up to 800 C. The PCER stack is a series of six barrels, each with six single cells connected electrically in parallel. It also uses a newly developed Ni-based glass-ceramic composite interconnect. The process aims to improve efficiency in the extraction of hydrogen from ammonia, methane, and biogas by coupling endothermic reforming reactions with heat from electrochemical gas separation and compression. The researchers described their approach in “Single-step hydrogen production from NH3, CH4, and biogas in stacked proton ceramic reactors,” which was recently published in Science.
Stanford University has launched the Stanford Energy Hydrogen Initiative research and education program to fund the development of key technologies, policies and financial mechanisms. Stanford teamed up with eight corporate members, who will invest almost $1 million dollars in new research in the initiative’s first year. The program will focus on both green and blue hydrogen.
ZeroAvia has announced plans to collaborate with Shell on two commercial-scale mobile refuelers for use at its research and development site in Hollister, California. Shell will also provide compressed, low-carbon hydrogen supplies to the facility and other locations in the western United States, ZeroAvia said.
First Hydrogen has said that its two MAN-based fuel cell-powered light commercial demonstrator vehicles, equipped with Ballard Power Systems’ fuel cells, are on schedule to commence operational testing in June. It said the two vehicles, currently being built by AVL Powertrain UK, “are expected to be road legal by September 2022 allowing for trials with major fleet operators. It is anticipated that these trials will be carried out with a significant number of fleet operators and buyers based on the interest which has already been generated.” The vehicles will reportedly have more than 500 km of range capability.
Hydrogen Systems has announced the establishment of a new hydrogen center in Riyadh. “The Hydrogen Energy Center of Excellence focuses on technology transfer and advanced manufacturing of solutions,” Hydrogen Systems said.
Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser, a subsidiary of Nel ASA, has received a purchase order from an undisclosed Indian oil refinery for an alkaline electrolyzer. The project will use hydrogen for oleochemical production. The purchase order has a value of approximately €2 million ($2.1 million) and delivery of the equipment is expected in mid-2023, said the company.
ScottishPower and UK-based Storegga have announced plans to build a series of green hydrogen projects in the Scottish Highlands. “The initial project phases will be focused in the Cromarty Firth region (north of Inverness) and will provide green industrial heat across the region for a range of customers including distilleries and transportation sectors;” Storrega said. “The projects are expected to deliver hundreds of M.W. of green hydrogen production capacity before end of the decade, with plans for the first project to be operating by 2024.”
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said in a recent report that over the short term, ammonia and existing pipelines appear to be the best options to transport hydrogen. “Over 120 ports already have ammonia infrastructure and 10% of global production is already traded,” said IRENA. “Once renewable ammonia is produced, it could be blended at any ratio with fossil-based ammonia without any change in properties (with a certification scheme in place), making initial trade easier.”
Air Products, Dutch tank transport specialist Schenk Tanktransport, and Dutch tech company TNO are collaborating on a new plan to develop hydrogen trucks and a public hydrogen refueling station. “This project is in cooperation with the Port of Rotterdam to create the largest hydrogen refueling station in the Netherlands, initially supplying three zero-emission trucks from Air Products, Schenk Tanktransport and other early hydrogen adopters in the Rotterdam port area,” said Air Products.
Sunshine Hydro has launched a AUS 2 billion ($1.4 billion) “Flavian” pumped hydro and green hydrogen project in Queensland, Australia. The company reported that it has secured the land and expects to make a final investment decision in 2025, with energy production likely to start from 2028.