Conference Presentation | Conference presentations and posters | Synthesegas und Synthesen

Optimizing of a hydrogen production plant by optimization of the CO2 removal step

Loipersböck J.

Published 2020

Citation: Loipersböck J. Optimizing of a hydrogen production plant by optimization of the CO2 removal step. 6th Central European Biomass Conference (oral presentation) 2020.


Hydrogen production in 2010 was estimated to 50 Mt/a. 96 % of today’s hydrogen is produced by converting fossil fuels in thermochemical processes. As main conversion technology steam reforming of natural gas and naphtha has been established. Hydrogen is mainly used in refineries, for ammonia production and in several chemical production plants. Hydrogen is also seen as a promising alternative energy carrier for the transport sector. Therefor an increasing demand on hydrogen over the next years can be assumed.  
To substitute fossil produced hydrogen several renewable hydrogen routes have been established. Beside electrolysis of water also steam reforming of biogas, methane pyrolysis and gasification technologies have been developed. This work will focus on hydrogen production based on dual fluidized bed gasification of biomass.  
Dual fluidized bed gasification gives the possibility to establish a renewable hydrogen production route and substitute fossil fuels. A hydrogen production plant consisting of a dual fluidized bed gasifier, a water gas shift stage, a CO2 removal, a pressure swing adsorption and a steam reformer were erected and operated over 1000 h. The gathered data was validated and a model for up-scaling was developed. A benchmark size of 10 MW fuel input power was used as base for economic estimations. As described in previous work an overall efficiency of 55 % can be achieved, which is comparable to alternative technologies. Compared to other renewable routes, hydrogen production based on dual fluidized bed gasification gives the possibility of a fuel flexible system for continuous hydrogen production.  
Hydrogen production derived by DFB gasification of wood is a reliable process, which needs to be optimized due to economic reasons. Special attention has to be paid on the CO2 removal, to obtain an economic efficient process.  
In this study a parameter variation of the CO2 removal, which consists of absorption and desorption column, was done. Mono-ethanol-amine (MEA) was used as a solvent. One focus of the experimental investigations was the desorption at low temperatures to gain the possibility of using temperature levels which are common in district heat grids. For the experiments real synthesis gas with impurities was used. Over the gas cleaning steps of the hydrogen production plant, impurities were removed and hydrogen content was increased. To increase the efficiency of the CO2 removal and further the hydrogen production, a parameter study was done. A good correlation between separation efficiency and desorption temperature could be observed.  
Economics were calculated comparing natural gas steam reforming, electrolysis and hydrogen production based dual fluidized bed gasification. First results show a high potential for establishing the BioH2 plant as a commercial production plant. An economic plant operation with wood chips can be achieved at plant sizes of 20-30 MW fuel input power. A switch to lower quality biomass can reduce the economic feasible plant size even further.  
Keywords: hydrogen, up-scaling, economics, CO2 removal

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