4 Prospects in Hydrogen Energy Development

Hydrogen energy 4 major application prospects

The development and utilization of hydrogen energy is one of the important ways to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality faster, safeguard national energy security and realize low-carbon transformation. At present, hydrogen energy is mainly used in energy, iron and steel metallurgy, petrochemical and other fields. With the top-level policy design and the rapid development of hydrogen energy industry technology. The application fields of hydrogen energy will show diversified expansion, and the application in energy storage, fuel, chemical industry, iron and steel metallurgy and other fields will be more and more extensive.

1.hydrogen energy storage

China is rich in renewable energy resources and should vigorously develop wind and solar photovoltaic power generation. Realize the conversion of renewable energy to hydrogen energy. However, the intermittent and random nature of wind power and photovoltaic power generation affects the continuity and stability of its grid-connected power supply. It also weakens the peaking strength of the power system.

The use of wind power and photovoltaic power generation to produce green hydrogen can not only effectively utilize abandoned wind and light. And it can also reduce the cost of hydrogen production. It improves grid flexibility and promotes the consumption of renewable energy. In addition, hydrogen energy can also be used as the hub of the energy Internet, connecting renewable energy with the power grid, gas network, heat network and transportation network, accelerating the energy transition process.

2.hydrogen fuel

Hydrogen can used as an end-use energy source in the power industry, converting chemical energy into electrical energy through hydrogen fuel cells. Or convert chemical energy into kinetic energy through gas turbine. Hydrogen fuel cells have the advantages of high energy density, high energy conversion efficiency and zero carbon emission. The two main categories include proton exchange membrane fuel cells and solid oxide fuel cells.

proton exchange membrane fuel cell

It is mainly composed of membrane electrode, bipolar plate, electrolyte and external circuit. It has the advantages of low operating temperature, fast startup, wide power range and strong stability. As a key component of fuel cells and electrolyzers, proton exchange membranes need to characterized by low proton conduction resistance, high current density and high mechanical strength. The limitations of such membranes are their susceptibility to chemical degradation, poor proton conductivity at elevated temperatures, and high cost.

solid oxide fuel cell

It is an all-solid-state power generation device, which consists of anode, cathode, electrolyte, sealing material and connecting material. The electrolyte is the core component that determines the operating temperature and power. Although it is limit by the high operating temperature of 600~1000 ℃ and low start-up speed, it has a broad development prospect due to its wide range of fuel options, high energy conversion efficiency, and no need for catalyst.

hydrogen gas turbine

Gas turbine is an internal combustion power machine that converts the chemical energy of fuel into kinetic energy. It is the core equipment in the field of power generation and ships. Compared with coal-fired generating units, gas turbines have the advantages of high power generation efficiency, low pollutant emissions, short construction cycle, small footprint, low water consumption and flexible operation and regulation. At present, the power generation capacity of gas turbine power stations accounts for about 23.1 per cent of the world’s total power generation capacity.

3.Hydrogen chemicals

Currently, about 55% of global hydrogen demand is used for ammonia synthesis, 25% for refinery hydrogen production. 10% for methanol production and 10% for other industries. With the continuous development of China’s science and technology, industrial level. In petroleum refining and other petrochemical fields will be more and more use of hydrogenation technology.

Petrochemical hydrogenation

Hydrogenation technologies used in petrochemical industry mainly include hydrocracking of heavy oil to produce aromatics and ethylene, hydrodesulfurization of residual oil to produce ultra-low sulfur fuels, hydrotreating of poor quality catalytic diesel and gasoline to produce high-octane gasoline, hydrodesulfurization of C3 fraction to remove propyne and propadiene, hydrodesulfurization of heavy aromatics to remove alkyl groups, and hydrotreating of benzene to produce cyclohexane, and so on.

Synthetic chemicals

Hydrogen used as a feedstock to synthesize chemical products such as ammonia and urea. Ammonia mainly synthesized by the Haber-Bosch method and has a higher energy density than hydrogen. It can used to store energy and generate electricity and emits no carbon dioxide at all.

Ammonia can be stored as a liquid at room temperature and at 10 atm and is suitable for transportation. In addition, there is a well-developed infrastructure for transporting and handling liquid ammonia. The facilitates the utilization of ammonia at scale. Ammonia can also be combined with CO2 to obtain urea. It is both an important nitrogen fertilizer and a sustainable hydrogen carrier that is stable, non-toxic, environmentally benign and easier to store.

Synthetic fuel

Hydrogen can also synthesized into simple carbon-containing compounds, such as methanol, methane, formic acid or formaldehyde, by reacting with carbon dioxide. When liquefied, these compounds are easy to store, easy to transport, have high energy density and are not explosive. As a liquid fuel, they are essentially zero-carbon emitting, making them a suitable mode of storage and transportation for renewable energy sources other than electricity transmission.

4.hydrogen reducing agent

The iron and steel smelting process. It employs coke as a reducing agent for iron ore, generates large amounts of carbon emissions and a variety of harmful gases. Iron and steel metallurgy, as the second largest source of carbon emissions in China. We urgently needs to develop a deep decarbonization process. The use of hydrogen instead of coke as a reducing agent, with water as the reaction product. It can significantly reduce carbon emissions and promote the transition to cleaner metallurgy.

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